Anthony Davis might be one of the best players in the NBA — but that doesn't mean he's immune to the league's ruthless trade machine.
During a recent interview with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the New Orleans Pelicans star center said he's aware he's the diamond in the eye of many franchises looking to make a splashy trade.
"That's the way the league is now. I don't see anyone winning without three or four All-Stars. ... I was in the [MVP] conversation in my third year, and we didn't win. We went to the playoffs, got swept, and I dropped out of all that so fast. It's about winning," said Davis in the report.
Sometimes, a player’s value can rise just by sitting on the bench.
Last year, the Pelicans were the ones making the landscape-shifting move, pulling the trigger on a blockbuster trade with the Sacramento Kings for another all-star center in DeMarcus Cousins.
Despite both star big men putting up gaudy numbers, the Pelicans have only been able to muster a middling record (15-15 as of Tuesday) in the loaded Western Conference as the season's halfway pole draws nearer. If the season ended today, they would be the the No. 7 seed in the playoffs, and face the Golden State Warriors in the first round.
That matchup wouldn't be unfamiliar to the Pelicans, who were swept in the first round by the Warriors in 2015, quickly ending Davis' only appearance in the postseason to date.
The Pelicans haven't made any indication they're considering trading Davis to anyone or for anything, but that hasn't stopped teams from kicking the tires. Davis, who has three years left on his contract, said he knew the Boston Celtics were calling for him before the Cousins trade, and he had asked GM Dell Demps about it, according to the report.
The New Orleans Pelicans begin a three-game road trip with a 6 p.m. tipoff Tuesday at the Washington Wizards. Here are three things to know:
"He told me that [Boston] was calling, but nothing was going to happen," Davis said to ESPN. "At the same time, though, you see how organizations treat players. Isaiah Thomas. DeMarcus [Cousins] told me that the [Kings] told him that he wasn't going to get traded, but they traded him ... It makes you wonder: Does this organization really have my back?"
Davis, however, reiterated his stance that he doesn't desire a move to a major NBA market, but he does want his team to mirror their successes.
"It's not about the money. It's not about having fans. The most important thing to me: winning. That's what I want to do," he said to ESPN. "And I want to do it here."
For the full story from ESPN, click here.