After months of waiting for a trade, Anthony Davis learned about the deal that sent him to the Lakers on Instagram, writes Chris Bumbaca of USA Today. Speaking today at his introductory press conference, Davis explained that he was watching a movie when the news broke and he missed two calls from his agent, Rich Paul. After a return call was unsuccessful, Davis tried social media, where he found out he was headed to L.A.
The deal was no surprise for Davis, who submitted a trade request to the Pelicans in January. The Lakers were one of his preferred destinations, offering the chance to team up with fellow Klutch Sports client LeBron James. Even so, Davis is happy that the process is finally over.
“That’s the biggest thing for me,” he said. “The relief of not knowing the unknown anymore and not knowing where I was going to be next season.”
GM Rob Pelinka, who closed the deal by offering New Orleans Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and a package of draft picks, called Davis’ introduction “a history-shifting day for the Los Angeles Lakers” and said organization is hoping for “a decade of dominance” from its new big man. Right now, L.A. is guaranteed just one year out of Davis, who is expected to opt out of his current contract next summer.
There’s more from today’s press conference:
- Davis doesn’t regret waiving his $4MM trade kicker, even though the move was designed to help land Kawhi Leonard, who wound up choosing the Clippers. “Any time you’re able to able to acquire a player like Kawhi, you have to do almost everything to get a guy like that,” he said. “Obviously, it didn’t work out for us, but I still wanted to do everything I could to help the team. That $4MM was to add more money to a player’s contract or get another guy, and by all means I was willing to do that.”
- Pelinka frequently sought input from Davis and James as the front office filled out the roster with free agent signings. Once Leonard was off the market, the Lakers focused on making the most of their cap space to build as much depth as possible. “I like our roster,” Davis said. “I like every player that we have, from one through 14. I’m excited about it. I would put our roster against anybody. I think that in a seven-game series we would come out victorious.”
- Davis turned aside a question about his long-term future in L.A., saying he’s “focused on this season,” tweets Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. “When that time comes around next year, you can ask me that question and we can revisit it,” Davis responded. “Right now my focus is on this year and figuring out how I can help this team and help this organization become a championship team.”
- Davis isn’t bothered by negative reaction he got from fans and the media after requesting a trade, relays Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll (Twitter link). “As long as I can sleep at night and live with the decisions that I made, then I’m happy and I don’t really care what anyone else thinks,” he explained. “I have a great team around me who I can talk to about things that’s going on, and they give me great advice and at the end of the day I’ll live with the decisions I make.”