Anthony Davis is one of the NBA’s very best players. He averages 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.7 steals per game. He leads the NBA in PER and ranks third in win shares and third in real plus-minus.
He also just requested a trade.
There’s no guarantee Davis maintains his elite production. He’s currently out with a finger injury. There’s also no guarantee the Pelicans trade him before next week’s deadline. They have him under contract through next season.
But Davis has a chance to have one of the best-ever seasons by someone who changed teams mid-year.
Here’s everyone who made an All-NBA team while switching teams during the season:
Here’s everyone to get an MVP vote while switching teams during the season:
Nobody has ever made the All-NBA first team while playing for multiple teams in a season. But Davis is favored to be first-team center this year, ahead of Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.
And it’s not as if Davis excels at only his position. James Harden has emerged as strong MVP favorite, but Davis is squarely in the mix with Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant for spots lower on the ballot. Davis could easily finish top-four, which would surpass Wilt Chamberlain’s fifth-place finish in 1965, when he got traded from the San Francisco Warriors to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Obviously, essential variables remain – how Davis plays the rest of the season, whether New Orleans actually trades him.
But this has the potential to be one of the most seismic, league-altering in-season trades in NBA history.
It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.
Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.
The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.
Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).
Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.
If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.
Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).
With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.
Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.
Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.
The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.
It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.
Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.
Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).
One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.