The Anthony Davis hunt is on, and we’re already about to start throwing around tampering accusations.
The NBA trade deadline passed Thursday without a deal for the Pelicans star, which means New Orleans will have to wait until the offseason to grant his request to be traded.
The Los Angeles Lakers were the favorites out of the gate, but they’re now back on a level playing field with the rest of the potential suitors, and everyone is looking for an edge.
That apparently includes the Milwaukee Bucks, who are reportedly among a handful of teams with whom Davis is open to signing a long-term contract extension.
Bucks owner Marc Lasry is seemingly a big fan of this development, openly expressing his giddiness following the trade deadline.
“I saw that report, and I think it’s great,” Lasry told Sporting News. “It’s a little bit of what we want. We want players to come and play in Milwaukee. And part of it is, when you’re winning and you’re setting a standard for excellence, people see that. People want to win.
“It doesn’t make a difference if you’re in Milwaukee, New York or LA. The whole goal is winning. So we hope it would be players like Anthony Davis and others who want to come to Milwaukee.”
Yeah, that might be tampering. Openly talking about players on other teams in this fashion is generally frowned upon, and we’ve seen owners get fined for similar comments in the past.
If anyone should know about tampering, it’s the Bucks. Their star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was the object of praise from Lakers president Magic Johnson, who was fined $50,000 last June for publicly praising Antetokounmpo and saying he’d one day bring the Bucks a title.
But this might end up being a tricky situation for the NBA. Davis and the Pelicans have acknowledged where things stand, so it’s not like it’s this huge secret that New Orleans will be auctioning off its franchise player.
Ultimately, it’s really not a big deal regardless of what the NBA does or doesn’t do. Lasry is filthy rich and will be able to easily afford any fine, and it’s unlikely his team lands Davis anyway.
H/t to NBC Sports
Thumbnail photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images