NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
General managers in the NBA have been more paranoid than ever before. They keep examining everything the Los Angles Lakers do or say to keep them away from snagging a great player. LeBron James simply answered a question and it had small market general managers upset. They believe he should have been charged with tampering.
Recently LeBron was asked what if the Lakers acquired the services of Anthony Davis. “That would be amazing,” James told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. Once that quote when viral, GMs around the league were angry about it.
An Eastern Conference GM responded. “It's New Orleans' problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us.” The NBA did investigate the issue and found no fault on the Lakers at all. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski went to Twitter to discuss the league’s reasoning behind the decision.
Funny how Giannis Antetokounmpo made comments of his own but there was less backlash surrounding it. After the Milwaukee Bucks beat the New Orleans Pelicans, Giannis walked up to AD and said: “Come to the Bucks.” That was more direct than what LeBron said, and small market teams said nothing about it. If rules are rules, then complain both ways.
However, the fact that Anthony Davis hired the same agent as LeBron also makes the trade rumors grow even stronger. Believing that the LeBron is planning to land AD is not too crazy to imagine. At the same time, he’s not the only one who would love to have AD on their team.
The bigger issue from this story is about the small market teams feel like they can’t keep their superstars. Kawhi Leonard was traded from the San Antonio Spurs after having a fractured relationship with the organization. Stories like this make teams worry about their roster.
What do the Pelicans have to do to keep Anthony Davis? They signed Julius Randle via free agency but that doesn’t appear to be enough. Maybe a little more money will convince him to stay.
Next summer, AD will be eligible to receive a supermax extension worth $239 million. That’s $87 million more than he would receive being traded to another team or signing through free agency. According to a source close to Davis, the supermax will not be a factor in his decision. That’s not good news for the Pelicans who were hoping the money would make the decision easier for him.
If Anthony Davis leaves, it will be because he wants to join a better team. Playing alongside LeBron and the young core makes more sense. Only time will tell what AD decides to do. In the meantime, the Pelicans should worry less about tampering and more about winning games.