Pelicans F Davis: 'I’d take legacy over money'

December 21, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during a stoppage in play against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

He’s still more than a year away from free agency, but questions are swirling around the future of Anthony Davis.

Will the New Orleans Pelicans trade their 25-year-old superstar? Will he re-sign with the Pelicans since they can offer him the most money at $239 million? Or are the Los Angeles Lakers concentrating on clearing cap space for him?

Davis, speaking Friday night to Yahoo! Sports after the Lakers beat the Pelicans, answered at least one of the questions. When it comes time for him to sign his next contract, money won’t be the biggest factor, he said.

“I’d take legacy over money,” Davis said. “I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD’s legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me. Don’t get me wrong, money is amazing. But I think in that sense, money or legacy, I think my legacy will win that battle every time.”

If Davis indicates after this season that he doesn’t plan to re-sign with the Pelicans, the team could explore trading him to get something in return. If he’s traded, he could sign a five-year, $190 million contract extension. As a free agent, his contract in 2020 would cap at four years for $139 million, according to NBC Sports.

Yahoo! also reported that Davis and LeBron James ate dinner together after the Lakers’ 112-104 win. Davis was the game’s leading scorer with 30 points. Earlier this week, some league general managers said comments that James made expressing a desire to play with Davis in Los Angeles were a form of tampering.

James added his comments about that on Friday night. He said that he, of course, would want to play with the NBA’s best.

“Come on guys, it’s not rocket science. It’s not rocket science,” James told reporters. “I would love to play with a lot of great players. That’s just who I am. People get caught up in bunches sometimes and they wish they could control what you say. And they can’t control me, at all. And I play by the rules.”

--Field Level Media