Why does it always seem like January lasts for 5 months? I took off almost a full month of writing these and have still managed to publish three in the month of January. To add insult to injury, this last week of January always seems to be bereft of entertaining sports stories. No one cares about the Pro Bowl, the NBA and NHL haven’t hit their All-Star Break strides, and MLB is still just far enough away. But every once in a while, one piece of news comes through to dominate the airwaves, and get the pundits talking. This year?
Anthony Davis Wants Out
And who can blame him? One of the 5 best players in the NBA (depending on who you ask), Davis plays for a dumpster fire of a team, that’s going to miss the playoffs. Again. Being the best player on a bad team can only be so fun.
When Jamie wrote about the trade for us, she listed the two potential targets as Los Angeles and Boston. She’s right in those are the two biggest contenders with assets to move, but one of them has an extreme limitation.
The Boston Celtics & The “Rose Rule”
The Boston Celtics arguably have more to offer New Orleans in a potential trade deal, because they have assets AND trade picks galore. And per most league insiders, the Pelicans would rather take a Celtics package of Jason Tatum, Al Horford, & a high draft pick than anything the Lakers would likely offer. The issue is, the Celtics, per league rules, cannot make that trade until July 1.
“What? Why?,” you might be asking. Well, dear reader, because of the “Rose Rule.” The “Rose Rule” is a rule in the NBA’s CBA (named for Derrick Rose) that allows for a player to make 5% more on their rookie extension (30% of the cap compared to the typical 25%) if they achieved one of the following in their first four years: won MVP, won Defensive Player of the Year, or were named to 2 All-NBA teams. When Irving and Davis signed their extensions, DPOY hadn’t yet replaced 2 All-Star Game Starting nods.
NBA rules state that any team cannot trade for two players on “Rose Rule” contracts while both are still on those extensions. Because Kyrie’s contract isn’t up until the end of this season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, the only way for the Celtics to obtain the services this year would be to move Uncle Drew. I just don’t see that happening. But there’s also nothing that says New Orleans has to move AD before July, other than the fact the longer he stays, the worse it’s going to get. Just look at the Kawhi situation.
The Los Angeles Lakers & Klutch Sports
In September, AD signed with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Why is that relevant? Because Rich Paul is one of LeBron James’s best friends, and also his agent. The writing was on the wall that AD was soon to be a Laker. And we are now one step closer to that. And the NBA isn’t too happy about the way this has all come down, fining AD $50,000 for publicly demanding a trade and potentially damaging a small market team. Now…
The bigger question is will LeBron get fined for tampering? There’s a strong case to be made that he has in fact tampered with AD, through Rich Paul, to bring the All-Star big man to LA. It would not be met kindly by the players for the NBA to go that route, but the option is there.
The Rest Of The League
There are reportedly a few other places that are going to throw their hats into the AD ring. Milwaukee, Toronto, the Knicks, and Brooklyn are all expected to get in on the action. Possibly the Clippers as well. But if AD really wants to be a Laker, and tells teams he is just going to sign with LA after the 2020 season no matter what, will teams be offering the high price that New Orleans will want in return for their franchise defining talent? We will see. The only thing for certain is that Pelicans’ fans should start preparing to see AD in a different uniform.
Goons Complain About Deserved Punishment
Does everyone remember back in October, after UFC 229, when Khabib Nurmagomedov jumped over the Octagon wall and started a riot in front of Connor McGregor’s corner. Well, the NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission) has finally handed down their punishments.
They seem pretty fair, right? Khabib doesn’t think so.
Khabib has even gone so far to say that, because he feels the punishment is unfair, he’s going to boycott fighting in Nevada, until at least his team finishes their year long bans, but maybe even longer than that. Apparently his ban can be reduced if he agrees to do an Anti-Bullying PSA with the NSAC, which might be the most laughable thing I’ve ever heard. Ever.
Yasiel Puig is All Of Us Throwing an Axe
The new Cincinnati Red Outfielder (man those words sting to type), is having a good time and his new team is documenting it. This isn’t news, and I don’t have a take (other than I’m amazed his cannon of an arm didn’t shatter that board), but we’re still in January, and us in the Northeast/Midwest are about to freeze to death, and this lifted my spirits so maybe it’ll lift yours too.