Anthony Davis has quickly become a cornerstone piece for the LA Lakers‘ long-term future. Davis has played a critical part in helping the franchise return back to the mountaintop of success. With all that in mind, he has admitted something that Paul George knew years ago.
Anthony Davis’ pathway to the Lakers
Anthony Davis spent his first seven years in the league with the New Orleans Pelicans, where he developed into a top-tier talent.
The situation eventually ran its course as Davis internally desired to play for another team that could present him a chance to compete for an NBA title. The Lakers emerged as a strong option due to the allure of playing alongside LeBron James.
Everything came to fruition in July 2019, with LA giving up a hefty haul to acquire the star big man. From that point on, the rest is history as Davis immediately found success winning an NBA title and secured his long-term future with the franchise.
The 27-year-old has now confirmed something that Paul George knew for quite some time.
Anthony Davis confirmed that he nearly teamed up with Paul George
During a recent interview on the All The Smoke Podcast, Paul George hinted at the notion that a “top-three player” that was a power forward wanted to play with him with the Indiana Pacers.
It didn’t take long for social media to connect the dots that the unnamed player was Anthony Davis, who was privately growing disgruntled with the New Orleans Pelicans. Earlier this week, Davis finally chimed in on the discussion and voiced that he did indeed speak to George about playing together in Indiana. (H/T Ryan Ward of Lakers Daily)
“Paul thing and Indiana was a conversation for sure. It kind of just faded away. I’m not sure what happened on their end. He said that management didn’t want to do it whatever.”
At the time of those discussions, the Lakers were not even a thought as they were still transitioning through their youth movement. LA did have some significant interest in acquiring George, but nothing came about.
The pairing of those two stars in Indiana could have made them a potential powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. They had an opportunity to spend together the prime of their careers with the franchise. Instead, Davis waited for the better situation to arise with the Lakers to play next to LeBron James.
George’s standing went south with the Pacers as he was moved to the Oklahoma City Thunder, then traded to the LA Clippers in July 2019.
Bright future ahead in LA
Anthony Davis’ career could have gone down a completely different path, but the direction it’s headed now has a bright future.
Beyond experiencing the immediate success in his first year with the Lakers capped off by an NBA title, the team has methodically structured a pathway. Davis has secured his long-term future with the franchise under a five-year, $190 million contract, while LeBron James has extended his stay through his 20th year in the 2022-23 season.
The Lakers have strung together a deep roster around that has them pegged as the favorites to win another NBA title. Davis has already reached the mountaintop of success with his first championship and has the opportunity to add plenty more to his legacy and resume.
Meanwhile, Paul George recently signed a four-year, $176.2 million extension with the Clippers that runs through the 2024-25 season. There is some uncertainty around Kawhi Leonard due to his contract situation. Leonard has already voiced he will opt out next offseason, but an opportunity is there for the Clippers to breakthrough to find championship success behind their two stars for the long haul.
Ultimately, the futures ahead for both Davis and George could see much success in their respective LA situations.