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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Julius Randle Reveals When Anthony Davis Said He Was Done With The Pelicans

As former Pelicans star Julius Randle recently detailed on the ‘Roommates Show,’ life can change fast in the NBA. In the case of Randle and his stint with the Pelicans, all was well until his teammate and co-star, Anthony Davis, tried to force his way out in 2019. According to Randle, both he and Davis saw the writing on the wall when New Orleans ended the top pick that summer.

“I got to New Orleans, I think they got the number one pick. And AD was like ‘I’m out of here.’ I was like ‘yeah I’m out of here too.’ And New York that year, they were supposed to get KD, Kyrie, and all that. So I really wasn’t even looking at that as an option.”

Anthony Davis played seven seasons with the Pelicans and was a 6x All-Star playing for the franchise. But after a series of underwhelming playoff appearances, people began to cast doubt on his long-term future in New Orleans and the team’s continued struggle to win games didn’t help change any mind.

At the end of the 2018-19 season, the Pelicans finished 16 games below .500, just 13th in the West, in what was arguably their most disappointing run to date. It was bad enough to land the Pels the number-one overall pick in 2019, which they later used to draft Zion Williamson.

Unfortunately, after seven years of waiting, Anthony Davis didn’t feel like working with a rookie at 25 years old and he put more pressure than ever on the Pelicans to find him a different team.

The Pelicans eventually granted Davis’ request and sent him to the Lakers in an infamous deal and it’s where he’s been ever since. In just five and a half seasons with the franchise, Davis has become an NBA champion and a basketball legend on par with the best bigs in modern NBA history.

Will Zion Williamson Follow The Same Path As Davis?

At the time of his trade request, Anthony Davis was widely considered one of the best bigs in basketball and while he was injury-prone throughout his career, he still had enough time on the court to validate paying him the max and he was well worth the premium trade package.

In the case of Williamson, he still has a lot to prove in the NBA and we’re seeing this season that he may not have a choice where he ends up in the immediate future. 

To date, Zion has played at least 60 games or more in a season just once in his career and has yet to advance past the first round of the playoffs. 

But at just 23 years old, Williamson still has time to turn the situation around and he’s under contract with the Pelicans through 2028 thanks to the extension he signed a few years ago.

The only way out now would be to demand a trade directly to the front office, the same way that Davis did after the Pelicans landed the first overall pick. Unfortunately for Williamson, the market for his contract isn’t nearly as popular right now given his health problems, weight concerns, and overall underwhelming stats given his potential.

Currently, at 5th in the West, New Orleans still has a chance to make some noise in the right matchup but experts are split on if they can make a deep playoff run. If not, then the Pelicans may be forced to ask some serious questions about where it all went wrong.

Related: NBA Executive Believes Pelicans Will Have To Choose Between Zion Williamson And Brandon Ingram

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