As was written here at Amico Hoops back in early August, the summer of 2019 will be lit when the NBA free-agency period hits July 1.
While the likes of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker could be hitting the open market, the biggest catch of all will be under contract for another year.
Many across the NBA, however, believe Anthony Davis will force his way out of New Orleans before July 1, 2020, perhaps before this season's trade deadline, Feb. 7.
Davis denies reports he wants out of New Orleans. However, he recently changed agents, firing Thad Foucher and joining Klutch Sports, run by Rich Paul, none other than close friend and agent for the game's biggest star, LeBron James of the Lakers.
“You can’t listen to what somebody else is saying, all the white noise, ‘A.D.’s going here, A.D.’s going here,’” Davis said.
“A.D.’s playing for the Pelicans this year. The rest will take care of itself.”
Davis has also said his goals include "being the most dominant player in the league," which would be difficult playing for the Pelicans, who have made the playoffs in the mighty Western Conference only five times in the last 14 seasons.
“Winning definitely helps everything, helps with your legacy, helps be on the top of the list,” Davis said. “But going to the playoffs every three years doesn’t help my case.”
In a column, Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register explains why Davis, with LeBron already locked up for the next four seasons, is next on the Lakers' wish list, starting with Davis' change of representation.
Insiders think that’s what Davis is doing, with the move to Klutch Sports all about the possibility of going to the Lakers.
“Why else did he do it?” an East GM asked.
“Things are going great for him. The team is going good. He got the Derrick Rose extension (a five-year $150 million deal that each team is allowed to offer one player on his rookie contract).
“It’s not because of race. Thad Foucher is an Afro-American. It’s not because of agency. Thad Foucher is from the Wasserman Group and has Russell Westbrook. So why did he do it?”
Heisler then goes on to explain why Davis is the perfect fit to play alongside James in Hollywood.
For the Lakers, Davis is, indeed, the most desirable player who could be available next summer.
A.D. is not only a big man who would fit with a perimeter player like James, but a modern one with shooting range (34 percent from 3-point range last season) to go along with dominating shot-blocking (No. 1 three of the last five seasons).
Davis is also 25, entering his prime as James, who’ll be 34 in December, leaves his … which could make A.D. a bridge to a Lakers future beyond their hopes for the time LeBron has left.
All of which points to the fact, sooner or later, the Lakers will find a way to bring a Robin to form tag-team with the game's Batman, LeBron. Former Celtics standout Paul Pierce said back September that Davis will be joining James in LA.
According to many across the NBA, it's not a matter of if... only when.