Kevin Garnett spent his first 12 seasons with the Timberwolves, only once advancing past the first round. Yet, he remained loyal to Minnesota. Finally, he helped facilitate a trade to the Celtics by signing a contract extension contingent on the deal. His first year in Boston, he won a championship while playing with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo.
Jay King of MassLive:
Keep in mind, this is only Pierce’s description of Garnett’s words. Even if completely accurately relayed, it’s easier for Garnett to say this in hindsight – and while he’s mad at the Timberwolves.
But no matter the context, this resonated with Anthony Davis, who missed the playoffs in four of his first five years with the Pelicans and has never won a postseason game.
Davis, in an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN:
When you hear that, it makes you think. Not gonna lie. It makes you think, because you’re wondering if you’re following in that same path. But then again, you’re like, oh, this year could be the year. You don’t know. So, you’ve just got to take it year-by-year and just see, see where the team is going, what direction they want to go to and just see where their head is.
For years, Davis insisted his loyalty to the Pelicans was unwavering. Now, he keeps dropping hints he could move on.
That doesn’t mean he will. I still believe winning in New Orleans is his priority.
But what if the Pelicans don’t win? If they re-sign DeMarcus Cousins, they’ll be deeply committed to a roster that isn’t even a playoff lock. If they don’t re-sign Cousins, they’ll have no mechanism to add a comparable replacement. It’s the same damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t choice that led to Jrue Holiday‘s massive contract last summer.
At some point, Davis – who can become an unrestricted free agent in 2020 – might have to choose between major winning and New Orleans. And he might leave.
He’s so good already, but even he must imagine how he’d perform on a team with even more weapons around him. He in particular can use the support.
Maybe the Pelicans can upgrade his supporting cast. He seems to be applying pressure on them to do so.
But if not, we’ll at least have seen his departure coming.