Anthony Davis still wants out of New Orleans.
The Pelicans won the 2019 NBA Draft lottery Tuesday, but Davis hasn’t changed his mind about desiring a trade, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources.
The New Orleans Pelicans are now set up to be Zion Williamson’s franchise to lift, and No. 1 pick could ease potential trade of Anthony Davis. His stance on a trade has not changed, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
Davis first requested a trade in January. The Pelicans reportedly gauged the market and listened to offers from multiple teams, but ultimately decided to wait things out.
New Orleans is expected to select Duke’s Zion Williamson with the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The 6-7 forward averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 points per game on 68% shooting during his freshman season at Duke. Many think he will become an NBA superstar, but that doesn’t appear to be influencing Davis.
“We want to create an environment that players are attracted to and we feel very strongly Anthony in totality will be attracted to what we can build and what we can offer,” Griffin said, via the Washington Post.
While Griffin also admitted that winning the lottery may not necessarily convince Davis, he added: “I don’t think it will play into [Anthony’s decision] hugely. If he was open-minded to believing that we could build a winner around him, [then] he’s more open-minded to it.”
Even before the lottery started, Griffin believed Anthony will stay in New Orleans.
“There are a lot reasons for him to believe that this will be different,” Griffin said, via NBA.com. “What it starts with is just us doing what we say we’re going to do, one step at a time. Over time, I think he’s going to see there is a trust level that he should have in us.
“I believe strongly he has always wanted to be part of the market, but, understandably, the kid wants to win.”
The Pelicans have received the top pick in the draft twice in franchise history. The first was Anthony Davis in 2012. He went on to become a six-time All-Star in his first seven NBA seasons. Davis averaged 25.9 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in 2018-19.
Davis was rumored to prefer being moved to the Lakers, but reports suggest he might be willing to commit to other teams, as well. He could become an unrestricted free agent after 2019-20.