Davis, Pelicans impasse may not end no matter what
The strain between the New Orleans Pelicans and their star player, Anthony Davis, does not seem to be getting any better any time soon.
Davis’ much written about saga with the Pelicans has not endured the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft to the City of New Orleans since his intention not to sign a contract extension was announced in January. Not only was Davis fined for going public with that information, but he also alienated a fan base that was solidly behind the six time all-star.
No doubt the Pelicans have not done what it takes to make the atmosphere a winning one in the Cresent City. New Orleans has suffered through five losing seasons in the last seven years and have made some roster moves that have been highly questionable.
But, the Pelicans have parted ways with former Vice-President Dell Demps and seems to be trying to turn the corner in keeping and getting the talent needed to make the franchise a perennial winner.
Griffin, the former General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has recently overhauled the medical department by hiring celebrated trainer Aaron Nelson, and is the point person driving the renovations on the team’s facility, a tangible display of newfound investment from owner Benson. On top of that, Griffin will directly report to Benson instead of Saints’ General Manager Mickey Loomis (Why was that happening in the first place?)
These are just some of the new ideas and changes that both Griffin and Benson hope will persuade Davis to stay on with the Pelicans. Oh, and just to add to that, New Orleans can still offer Davis more money than anyone else, thanks to the five-year, $240 million super max at their disposal.
Another important caveat to the whole Davis situation is the fact that the Pelicans just won the NBA Lottery and hold the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft; a pick that is most likely to be Duke superstar Zion Williamson. However, Griffin is cautiously guarded in the hopes that drafting a player like Williamson will change Davis’ mind.
“(The lottery) doesn’t change anything about our situation with Anthony, other than the fact it maybe gives him one more sign things are turning in a different direction,” Griffin said. “I think relative to Anthony, what he’s wanted to do is win. And he was frustrated with the situation and didn’t think he could do that in New Orleans at the time.”
“I think if he looks in totality of what’s happened since Mrs. Benson and her ownership team have empowered us and put us in position to make a difference, I think he is going to have a lot of reason to be confident,” Griffin concluded.
Davis still has one more year remaining on his contract. But, we all know that if he wants out, he will more than likely get his way, even if Williamson is part of the roster. Right now it would take a ton more changes to even get Davis back to the Smoothie King Center.
New Orleans still has some talent left in the basket, including Jrue Holiday. If Griffin and the Pelicans do part ways with Davis, the key is to fill the roster with some young talented players and rebuild the franchise around Holiday and Williamson. Whether New Orleans’ fans like it or not, Davis is in control.