Since David Griffin came on board, the New Orleans Pelicans have not engaged in trade talks about superstar Anthony Davis with anyone.
That was not going to change — at least publicly — once Griffin and Davis met, which happened Wednesday. There would be no advantage for either side if Davis’ agent Rich Paul came out of that meeting leaking Davis still wanted to be traded after the meeting. How public everything got around the trade deadline left a stain on everyone involved (and no Magic Johnson, it wasn’t just the Pelicans and agents leaking info).
Griffin tried to sell Davis on a different Pelicans franchise on Wednesday, and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the sides will talk again, but very little else.
Davis, who requested a trade in January, and Griffin, who was hired in April, are expected to continue a dialogue in the near future, sources said.
Shams Charania of The Athletic added this.
Those phrases — “continue a dialogue” and “respectful, productive sitdown” — are Rorschach test of statements: what you take away from it says more about you than the statement itself.
If you want to believe Davis will stay, then the fact they are going to talk again gives you hope. Griffin has set out to address the area’s of Davis’ concern — because those are the areas that had to be fixed if this organization was going to win, with or without Davis. The training and medical staffs were bolstered. More bright minds were brought into the front office, and the analytics department got larger. Most importantly, more talent is on the way, starting with Zion Williamson — he could be the best player Davis would be paired with three years from now.
Or, if you think Davis is going to get traded, that vague statement about talking again in the future is exactly what you’d expect the sides to say to keep things quiet so the trade talk doesn’t become a circus again (and the league office really doesn’t like it when things like that happen and overshadow the Finals). The Celtics, Lakers, Knicks, Clippers, and possibly other teams are still waiting around for trade talks to start up again.
If Davis is going to get traded (and that’s still the smart bet) look for things to come together quickly around the draft. Griffin, however, is too intelligent to let this get so messy and public again. That is, if he can’t change Davis’ mind.