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Anthony Davis switching agents but prospects with New Orleans Pelicans have not suddenly dimmed

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Today’s announcement may be newsworthy, but it’s far from being anything enlightening.

New Orleans Pelicans v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

According to Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Anthony Davis is in the midst of changing representation. He has left long-time agent Thad Foucher and is expected to sign with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, the representative of LeBron James, John Wall, among others.

To officially change agents, players are required to file paperwork with the players’ union and then wait 15 days. Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who represents LeBron James among others, is a leading contender to represent Davis, sources said.

Expect all sorts of speculation to run rampant again involving Davis, especially notions that he is now destined to wind up on the Lakers as James recently signed a four-year deal with Los Angeles over the summer. Hey, this scenario could very well materialize, but so can countless of others — including staying right here with the Pelicans

Chris Paul left New Orleans soon after he joined forces with Leon Rose, LeBron’s former agent. Jrue Holiday, on the other hand, re-signed with the Pelicans shortly after switching from Thad Foucher to Jason Glushon.

Ultimately, it’s anyone’s guess as to what Davis may decide do at some point down the road, regardless of his love for the Crescent City. Remember, a lottery ball combination from the 2012 NBA Draft proceedings decided his home for the immediate future. He may get a hankering for a change in scenery. He may feel the need to encounter a new challenge. However, we can and should assume several important determining factors will be at play.

  • For New Orleans to have any hope of retaining Davis for the long term, the organization is going to have to remain a consistent winner. AD has mentioned his desire to build a meaningful postseason resume multiple times, and this likely includes experiencing a deep playoff run or two.
  • Davis is eligible to sign the richest contract in NBA history next summer, a Designated Player Veteran Extension thanks to winning two consecutive All-NBA honors. Leaving in free agency would cost him $84 million guaranteed dollars!

Okay, let’s first take a closer look at Davis’ DPVE which was estimated by Bobby Marks to be in the neighborhood of $230 million dollars based on current salary cap projections. That includes a nice tidy sum of over $52 million in a potential fifth season.

Anthony Davis DPVE Salary
2020-21 $39,700,000
2021-22 $42,876,000
2022-23 $46,052,000
2023-24 $49,228,000
2024-25 $52,404,000
Total $230,260,000

Almost a quarter of a billion dollars for five years of employment — awesome work if you can find it!

Since the 35% supermax-like extension became a probable option, I’ve long maintained that Davis will happily stay on with the Pelicans organization — provided the existence of enough continued team success — through at least the 2020-21 season. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a player must stay with his original team he signs the DPVE contract with for at least one season of the new contract.

If things work out reasonably well, the New Orleans Pelicans should be in position to keep Davis in town for at least another three years. The team is fresh off their best playoff showing in a decade and the expectations rightfully remain high. The front office stumbled upon a winning combination after acquiring Nikola Mirotic and the free agent moves over this summer have seemingly only added to last year’s fun, noise-making model.

Look, intelligent, savvy minds don’t throw away opportunities at difference-making sums of cash provided the stipulations aren’t harsh, and there have not been any longstanding rumors of a desire to play elsewhere like there were with say Paul George. But make no mistake, the clock is ticking in the background. It’s been pulsating quietly since Davis first arrived in New Orleans, yet this isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The best of the best are always surrounded by immense expectations, some of them need to come to fruition though in order for harmony to remain.

Today’s change in representation news regarding Anthony Davis only added a small new wrinkle, not some determinative one.