The NBA does not want its players under contract — or their agents — publicly asking for a trade. Which is one reason there is a Mississippi River-sized flood of back channel information around the league, but the NBA doesn’t want guys under contract saying they want out. They don’t like the image.
(Although, is what Jimmy Butler did this year in Minnesota, not directly asking for a trade but forcing it with his behavior, somehow better?)
The league has fined Davis $50,000 for “violating a collectively-bargained rule prohibiting players or their representatives from making public trade demands. The fine is for statements that were made by Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, in an intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans.”
Players are responsible for the public comments of their agents.
Davis and Paul do not care, $50,000 is literally 0.002 percent of Davis’ salary this season. The goal of the public announcement was to put pressure on the Pelicans to trade Davis to the Lakers at the deadline, and whether that succeeds or not the fine is a small price to pay in that effort.