Should Anthony Davis be allowed to move to the Los Angeles Lakers, seemingly of his own free will, despite his current contract with the New Orleans Pelicans? This is subject of some discussion, and of course plays in ways outside the NBA. The existence of a contract (and a handsome one at that) and no particular ill-will outside of boneheaded management has created conflict for those siding on the rights of — something that sticks home in 2019 for many as they consider their own personal politics.
All that aside, Davis and the talk surrounding the Pelicans big man has irked commentator Charles Barkley. Speaking on Inside the NBA on TNT on Thursday, Barkley said that he felt Davis should not be allowed to head to the Lakers.
There’s no official trade for Davis and the Lakers just yet, but it does feel like some kind of inevitability lest things get headed off at the pass. The last time an NBA commissioner vetoed a trade with the Lakers he was acting as the owner of the New Orleans team (George Shinn had sold the team back to the league) and it kept Chris Paul in New Orleans and send Pau Gasol from Memphis to the City of Angels.
Silver is not the acting owner of the Pelicans, he cannot veto this trade. Even if he were to try it could come with some serious blowback. However, as we’ve seen with Kawhi Leonard and before that, Paul George, it can put teams in a precarious position trying to obtain value for a player who has made his intentions publicly known. That’s bad business for everyone, even if those examples have come at the expense of smaller-market teams.
Where Davis ends up, I’m not sure. Whether Siver and the league take a close look at the trade — due to tampering or some other kind of violation — is another thing altogether.