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This is the most consequential trade request in decades. No, I’m not talking about Marquese Chriss.

We have that and more in Tuesday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis dropped his large shoe on the Pelicans’ doorstep over the weekend as the superstar told the team he would not be signing a supermax extension this summer because he would be leaving New Orleans as a free agent unless the team would please, if they could, trade him sooner.

There is no public “list” of teams Davis is requesting to join some 18 months prior to the start of his free agency. But everyone reads the timing of this decision and trade request as a Lakers power move. Why? Because the Celtics can’t trade for Davis until the summer due to arcane salary cap rules. With the Celtics and Lakers being the top candidates to trade for Davis, the request coming in now benefits the Lakers. Davis’ agent Rich Paul — agent and close confidant of LeBron — doesn’t do things on accident. And there are rumors that Davis would prefer LeBron and the Lakers over all other options.

The Lakers’ theoretical trade package is pretty compelling, but so are the theoretical packages from every other team. If it seems like we’re spending an inordinate amount of time war-gaming this whole thing, we are. Let’s be clear: this is the most consequential trade request in decades.

This is bigger than Kevin Garnett’s request in 2007: the Big Ticket was already 31 at that point, and made just one more All-NBA team after the trade. It’s bigger than Kobe Bryant’s kinda fake trade request in 2007 because there was no way Kobe was going anywhere and he seemed to know that as he was pushing his weight around SoCal parking lots trashing Andrew Bynum. Davis is only 25 with three All-NBA first team nods. We won’t know until we can look back just how consequential it is, but the potential impact is enormous.

The only trade request in NBA history that definitely outstrips this is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 1974 request for the Bucks to trade him to the Lakers or Knicks. Kareem won three MVPs and five titles after the trade. Top that, AD.

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 7. The Pelicans don’t have to rush this, but they could. Load up on popcorn, folks.


Knicks 92, Hornets 101
Warriors 132, Pacers 100
Nets 104, Celtics 112
Nuggets 95, Grizzlies 92
Hawks 123, Clippers 118


All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise noted.

Wizards at Cavaliers, 7
Bucks at Pistons, 7
Thunder at Magic, 7
Bulls at Nets, 7:30
Pelicans at Rockets, 8, TNT
Suns at Spurs, 8:30
Sixers at Lakers, 10:30, TNT


Eleven moments that doomed the Anthony Davis era in New Orleans. My piece on the very first step the Pelicans need to take before doing anything with Anthony Davis. An argument that the Pelicans need to tank immediately. The Pelicans’ future could be bright if the team plays this right. The Pelicans are already sounding the tampering alarms. Could the Lakers end up with Davis and Klay Thompson? Should the Knicks be in this sweepstakes?

The Grizzlies took a 25-point lead against the No. 2 seed Nuggets. The Grizzlies lost that lead. And then this happened at the end of the game. It defies explanation or any context I can conjure in the English language. I feel like it can only be described by involuntary guttural sounds and the words “oh no” repeatedly with increasing urgency.

The Timberwolves’ 20 years of unrest.

Updated WNBA draft big board from Howard Megdal.

Howard Schultz still has a huge Sonics problem.

Kevin O’Connor’s eulogy for the Grizzlies.

Kyrie Irving is going to star in a movie about the infamously haunted Skirvin Hotel in OKC.

And finally: Spencer Hall’s grand thesis on the ethics and importance of taunting your opponents.

Be excellent to each other.