Anthony Davis's time in New Orleans may come to an end sooner than later.
We already knew that the big man was likely to be traded in the next off-season – he was unlikely to sign a contract extension in the summer – but an exchange request could speed that up.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Davis made it clear that his future will not be with the pelicans, and that he demanded an exchange.
"Anthony wants to be traded with a team that allows him to have a chance to consistently win and compete for a championship," Davis' agent Rich Paul told ESPN.
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"Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that is the reason to inform them of that decision now. This is in the interest of Anthony and the future of the organization. "
With Davis set to become a free agent in 2020, the pelicans were forced into a position where they would have to swap the 25-year player before the 2019-20 season or lose him for nothing when he became a free agent.
Among the suitors that are widely known are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, both using a trade for Davis to add an already superstar lineup.
The Celtics, however, can not trade for Davis until the next offseason, thanks to "Rose Rule." A team is allowed to have two players who have signed an extension of the Rose Rule – a reward given to players who have exceeded the amount in a rookie contract – but who can only acquire one through a negotiation.
The rule allows a player who completes his rookie contract to get 30 percent of the 25 percent team salary – whether he: has been voted twice by the All-Star, has been voted All-NBA twice or has won an MVP award .
The Celtics are traded for Kyrie Irving, so they need to wait until they can rehire him in the offseason before they seek to trade for Davis. While the announcement of this commercial request appears to be a shift of power from Davis and Paul to convince the Lakers' great man, they denied it to ESPN.
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LeBron James and Davis share an agent, so it would be naïve to think that thinking was not at least discussed.
For the Lakers, a package centered around their young stars is what would be the start of negotiations for Davis.
This starts with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
The pelicans also wanted Ivica Zubac and a first-round choice in order to legitimately start trade negotiations with the Lakers.
Davis has an average of 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game for pelicans, and is sidelined with an avulsion fracture volar plate from his left index finger.