Charles Barkley goes off on Anthony Davis for trade request: 'We can't have players colluding to build super teams'

Alex Reimer
February 01, 2019 - 10:10 am

Anthony Davis’ trade request may have excited basketball fans from Los Angeles to Boston. But Charles Barkley thinks it’s bad for the game.

On TNT Thursday, Barkley went off on Davis for publicly pleading to get out of New Orleans, and perhaps try to force his way out before the trade deadline on Feb. 7. 

“We cannot have players and agents colluding to stack super teams,” Barkley said. “We can’t have players dictating who’s going to play together.

“They’re stacking the teams. Guys are sharing agents, they’re stacking the teams.”

Barkley is right: Davis going to the Lakers to form a super team with LeBron James or the Celtics to build a super duo with (presumably) Kyrie Irving, would further shift the power in the NBA to select cities. The NBA has always been predicated on dominant teams and dynasties, but the trend has reached another level over the last decade, climaxing when Kevin Durant signed with Golden State in free agency.

Ironically, Durant may leave the Warriors this offseason, and start his own group with the Knicks.

The NBA fined Davis $50,000 for his public trade demand. He shares his agent, Rich Paul, with James. Paul is reportedly leaking word to teams that Davis only intends to re-sign with the Lakers, but it's unlikely that would deter Danny Ainge. The Thunder retained Paul George last year, despite those same rumors. Toronto traded for Kawi Leonard last offseason, too, taking the same risk. 

If the Pelicans wait to trade Davis until the summer, the Celtics would likely have the most enticing package, beginning with Jayson Tatum and perhaps Jaylen Brown. Davis’ push out of NoLa is another blow to league parity, but it sure creates lots of buzz. 

Related: Jayson Tatum speaks out about possibly getting traded for Anthony Davis