From the moment LeBron James started discussing his desire to play alongside Anthony Davis, the NBA was wary about possible tampering. That escalated this week when Davis publicly requested a trade, which resulted in a $50,000 fine.
Still, the entire ordeal has pointed to Davis ending up on the Lakers, and Charles Barkley would like NBA commissioner Adam Silver to step in and put a stop to any trade that would send the Pelicans big man to Los Angeles.
During Thursday’s Inside the NBA, Barkley pointed at Davis’ shared representation with LeBron (agent Rich Paul) and claimed that it was “collusion” to create a superteam with the Lakers.
“Adam Silver needs to block that trade. I don’t like what the Lakers are doing. I don’t think it’s right … It’s collusion, and you know it’s collusion. Let me tell you something, Rich Paul got mad at me when I said a month ago, ‘Oh, the fix is in. Anthony Davis is going to the Lakers.’ This was before all these rumors started. And he didn’t like me saying the fix was in. The fix has been in! I think Commissioner , who I like a lot, needs to come out and say, ‘Hey, we can trade Anthony Davis, but he cannot go to the Lakers. We cannot have players and agents colluding to stack superteams.”
While Barkley probably was mixing up collusion with tampering, the point was valid. Davis and his agent have seemingly leveraged the Pelicans to trade him to the Lakers, and it’s a practice that potentially undermines the competitive balance of the league.
But could you imagine if another blockbuster trade to the Lakers gets blocked? That would be the kind of thing that could only happen in the NBA.