Supermax deal not a factor in Anthony Davis' forthcoming decision?


With each sunrise and sunset, it seems, sprouts new waves in the infinity pool that is Anthony Davis' future rumors.

The latest development comes Friday night from The Athletic's Sam Amick, who says that the lucrative potential of what the New Orleans Pelicans are expected to offer the once-a-generation talent to keep him in the Big Easy through what would be the prime of his career is not the be-all, end-all:

Amid all this escalating noise about Davis and his uncertain future – from the LeBron James flattery in his recent ESPN interview to the Friday report that small-market general managers believe his comments qualified as tampering – there’s this revelation that should concern Pelicans ownership and management far more than all the rest. According to a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking, he does not see the extra $87.3 million that New Orleans is expected to offer in a five-year, $239.5 million supermax extension this summer as a factor in his eventual decision.

If that’s the only chip they have in this game of AD poker, in other words, then they’re bound to bust.

The Pelicans are the only team that can offer a supermax deal to the five-time All-Star, a five-year deal that can take up to 35 percent of the team's salary cap. Davis can hit free agency in 2020 if he elects not to sign an extension, presumed to be of that supermax ilk, and the Lakers and Celtics have frequently been talked about as potential destinations if so.


Davis got a rousing ovation from the Celtics fans in the Pelicans' Dec. 10 loss to Boston at TD Garden, and Davis heard the roars, telling reporters after the game, "I heard it tonight. But I’m just focused on this team. I’m trying to do whatever I can to help this team get wins with the roster we have. It’s been a rocky season so it’s on me to try to figure it out. I know the team follows me. I’m the leader and I’ve got to be the one to make sure that we’re ready to play every night.”

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has said the team won't trade Davis "under any circumstance". But should that disposition change between now and the Feb. 7 trade deadline, it won't be to the benefit of the Celtics, who wouldn't be allowed to trade for Davis unless Kryie Irving was included in the deal, due to a little-known rule known colloquially as the "Derrick Rose Rule".

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