Anthony Davis is a once in a generation player and is already a New Orleans legend. Davis is now 25 years old and getting into his prime. He has still not spent enough time with a superstar. The farthest Davis has been in the playoffs is the Western Conference Semis, so Davis needs to leave New Orleans.
No love lost
To get started let’s make it clear that there is no loyalty in the NBA. None. Not anymore at least. This issue could be an entire topic in itself. What players need to realize is that they are expendable and are business assets. As much as they are loved in their city and by their team what matters to the owners is wins. Davis loves the city and the people there. But he should view his career no differently than the front office views him.
Even recently we see players like DeMar DeRozan who was incredibly loyal to Toronto get traded. Even boiling James Harden’s situation down shows that although he was on his way to the top, the team still traded him disrupting the great future the Thunder would have had.
Players are taking notice of this and should feel no obligation in wanting to leave their team if they can’t get the help they need.
It’s time Davis does what is best for his career. He needs to move to a team he could help to make deep runs in the playoffs. The most important caveat of this is that Davis needs a team that can continue to win games even if he or another key player is injured. In his career, Davis has not played in 127 games. In those games, his team has lost 65 times. So about 51% of the time Davis’ team will lose without him. As a singular player you would hope you would not have to flip a coin to see if your team can win without you.
Another issue is that New Orleans has been unable to keep their star players, aside from Davis. With both DeMarcus Cousins and Chris Paul leaving, two of the three best players this team has had have left for something better. A run at a championship.
This leaves us with finding some teams that could potentially fit for Davis.
The obvious choice for Davis would be the Lakers. Having just signed LeBron to a four-year deal and being one of the biggest markets in the world, it would be somewhat of a culture shock. But a welcome one that would guarantee playoff runs. Being surrounded by star power Davis would also not have to solely rely on his play to carry his team to the playoffs.
Another potential landing spot would be the Dallas Mavericks. Right now, the Mavericks have a young squad and a lot of cap space. They probably would not be considered as title favorites as soon as Davis comes. With a couple of moves and their team staying healthy, a deep run is a realistic possibility.
Hot take alert
The hottest take to give on this matter would be Davis to Charlotte. Charlotte is toward the bottom in market size and seems to be a perennial below average team. But if it were possible to navigate the cap space and still get Davis there, he would be teaming up with Kemba Walker. This would not only get Walker some much-needed help but raise each of their games to another level. We need to look at Davis as a player that makes those around him better. Obviously him being paired with Walker is a no-brainer. But playing with Frank Kaminsky, Miles Bridges and Malik Monk will elevate their game.
Ultimately Anthony Davis should do he feels what is best for his career and not worry about the threat of being considered a traitor to his team when in reality loyalty is lost in the NBA.