Rich Paul explains why Anthony Davis waived trade kicker
Anthony Davis was contractually owed just over $4 million for being traded by the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers, which was a figure that stood in the way of the Lakers potentially building their best team possible. Davis ended up waiving the “trade kicker” so that the Lakers could use the money to sign other players with their salary cap space.
Davis’ agent Rich Paul spoke with Evan Cohen, Amin Elhassan, and Zach Harper SiriusXM’s NBA channel over the weekend and shared why Davis waived the trade payment he was due.
“Anthony wanted to do what’s best for the team,” Davis told the hosts, as transcribed by The Big Lead. “They had to create cap space knowing that [when] they went out to get him that the depth chart would be pretty scarce. Here we are again as athletes. You can’t have it both ways. The media says well you know what? If you want all your money you’re greedy.
“Or when you want more money than they think you’re worth, they say you’re greedy. When you want to take less, like in this case he wanted to do what was best for the team because he’s only been in the playoffs two years.”
Paul was asked how he handles a matter that involves a player turning down money. He said he leaves it up to his clients.
“I asked what’s important to him. If it’s important for you to keep your money in your pocket that’s what we’ll do. But if it’s important for you to win, the more money you have available to go out and take talent then that’s what you do.”
Though some may applaud Davis for his selfless behavior by turning down money he could have easily accepted, I don’t see it that way. Davis was not traded by the Pelicans against his will, which a trade kicker is designed to protect against. He forced a trade, citing a desire to win as his reason for doing so. If Davis then turned around and accepted his trade kicker knowing it would give the Lakers $4 million less to spend in free agency, his actions would have run counter to his entire reason for demanding the trade. Waiving the trade kicker was the only move he reasonably could have made in conjunction with forcing a trade for the purpose of contending for a championship.