Rich Paul: Dell Demps Responsible for Public Anthony Davis Trade Request

Rich Paul, Anthony Davis's agent, says he originally didn't plan to go public with the star Pelicans forward's trade request last season.
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Rich Paul, Anthony Davis's agent, says he originally didn't plan to go public with the star Pelicans forward's trade request last season. 

Paul toldSports Illustrated's S.L. Price that Dell Demps, the former New Orleans general manager, forced him to go public. 

Paul admits the situation got out of hand. (“Would I have wanted things to be handled a bit better? Absolutely.”) But even then, he dumps all blame on New Orleans general manager Dell Demps. Because Paul insists his original plan wasn’t to go public. He says that he first informed Demps on Friday, January 25, of Davis’ intentions, and Demps responded that he’d confer with Pelicans owner Gayle Benson and get back to him. (Despite repeated attempts, Demps never responded to SI’s request for comment.) Instead, Paul says, Demps dialed up Davis himself -- and never called Paul back at all.

“It was necessary to go public,” Paul says. “Because we stated intentions: They were ignored. When I told you, ‘Here’s our intentions, and you say, ‘Hey, let me talk to ownership,’ and instead of you talking to ownership you call Anthony Davis? That’s called being ignored, in my opinion.” And trying to get between a player and his agent, well, “that’s a no-no,” Paul says. “Every GM knows that.”

Davis remains a member of the Pelicans, though it's possible he'll be traded this summer. Paul told SI that Davis will enter free agency in 2020—that is, he won't sign an extension with anyone—no matter which team he plays for next season.