February 21, 2019

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N.B.A. Fines Anthony Davis $50,000 After Agent’s Request for a Trade

N.B.A. Fines Anthony Davis $50,000 After Agent’s Request for a Trade
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The N.B.A. on Tuesday fined Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans $50,000 because his agent, Rich Paul, had gone public with a trade request.

Davis was hit with the fine after Paul gave multiple interviews on Monday saying that the All-Star big man wanted to be traded and would decline a contract extension for an estimated $240 million that New Orleans was planning to offer in July, at the first permissible moment.

Paul’s comments violated “a collectively bargained rule prohibiting players or their representatives from making public trade demands,” the league said in a statement announcing the fine.

The league described Paul’s comments as an “intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans.”

Paul declined to comment on Tuesday. Davis refused to speak to reporters before New Orleans’s game on Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets.

In another high-profile case of a player’s trade request this season, Jimmy Butler was not fined after pressing to be dealt from the Minnesota Timberwolves in September, because neither Butler nor his agent, Bernie Lee, openly discussed Butler’s wishes with the news media. The Timberwolves ultimately traded Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 10.

But in a subsequent example, Cleveland’s J. R. Smith — who is also represented by Paul — dodged a fine after he publicly requested a trade in November. Smith was sent away from the Cavaliers in a mutual decision between the team and Paul to allow Cleveland to try to find a new home for Smith.

The Los Angeles Lakers are at the forefront of teams trying to persuade the Pelicans to surrender Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

The Knicks are also determined to establish themselves as a factor in the bidding for Davis, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s plans. The Knicks, though, realize that they might not be able to make their bid for Davis until May, when the order for the top of the June draft is set, according to the person, who was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

Barring a home-run offer before next week’s deadline, the Pelicans are widely expected by rival teams to keep Davis for the short term and wait until closer to the draft to make a deal, in hopes of broadening their trade options.

The Boston Celtics, regarded for some time as the Lakers’ foremost challenger in the long-anticipated trade sweepstakes for Davis, are ineligible to acquire Davis via trade while the All-Star guard Kyrie Irving is on Boston’s roster. League rules preclude one team from having two players on the designated rookie scale contract extensions possessed by both Davis and Irving.



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