Unlike most basketball observers, Charles Barkley won’t spend the coming months worrying about Anthony Davis’ NBA future.
The Basketball Hall of Famer and current TNT NBA analyst told ESPN’s “Get Up!” on Friday he believes the New Orleans Pelicans forward is a lock to join the Los Angeles Lakers in the next 18 months or so.
Davis in September hired agent Rich Paul, whose NBA roster includes Lakers superstar LeBron James. Barkley interprets Davis’ decision as a signal of his intention to head westward when his Pelicans contract expires after the 2019-2020 season, if the Lakers don’t trade for him before then.
“When I heard that Anthony Davis had signed with Klutch Sports, I knew the fix was in,” Barkley said. “That’s the first thing that came to my mind when he signed with Rich Paul, who is a fantastic agent.
“The first time I heard Anthony Davis signed with Klutch, I said ?Anthony Davis is going to L.A.? So I feel like the fix has been in for like over a year now… .”
Rumors linking Davis to the Lakers flared this week after James made flattering comments about him when asked about potentially teaming up in Los Angeles. Although Davis declined to respond in kind, his reported links to the Lakers remain the talk of the NBA community.
Yet, Barkley, one of the NBA’s most outspoken personalities, likely won’t have too much to add to the raging Davis-to-the-Lakers speculation.