CHICAGO New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says the Anthony Davis situation will be "taken care of" and his team is "pretty happy" to own the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, widely expected to be Duke star Zion Williamson.
Davis wore a "That's all folks" T-shirt to a Pelicans game in April and has expressed his desire to be traded to a contender. The Pelicans are expected to entertain trade offers from the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, and other teams as a possible draft-day blockbuster trade looms. The NBA Draft is June 20 in Brooklyn.
Asked Thursday at the NBA Combine if he had had a chance to talk recently to Davis, Gentry said, "That one will be taken care of in time. Its going to be fine. Everything is going to work out the way it should."
It's unclear exactly what Gentry meant with those comments, but it certainly wasn't a full-throated proclamation that he wants and expects Davis back in New Orleans when the 2019-20 season starts.
Asked if it was a "head-scratcher" that Davis wouldn't want to play with the No. 1 pick in the draft, Gentry said, "We are building something there and it's going to be something special and it's going to be sustainable, too. It will be something."
Gentry expressed faith in new executive vice president David Griffin, who previously helped make the Cavaliers a contender. Asked to clarify what "sustainable" meant, Gentry added: "Something where we're going to be good year after year after year. It's not you're good for two years and then that's it. And Griff has done it before. He's been in that situation. I think he's really smart and he really knows how to build a team."
On Tuesday, when the Pelicans won the lottery, Griffin said he hoped to build something "attractive" for Davis in New Orleans.
"We have reason to believe we can build something that is attractive," he said. "If Im Anthony Davis, Im skeptical. He felt compelled to try to win elsewhere. If you look at totality where this organization is, we feel very strongly well be the environment he wants to be in.
"If not, we can deal with it from there. Im looking at this believing he would want to win with us. Its who we are. We knew we were the epicenter of the offseason. Now we are to a greater degree."
Gentry wouldn't mention Zion Williamson by name, but after the Pelicans won the lottery, he was shown on camera letting out a "F***, yeah" and high-fiving the others in the room.
"I'm a coach and we react to things," he said of his reaction. "I'm not the calm, cool, collected guy that goes, 'Thank you.' No, I reacted the way anybody would in that situation if you're a coach."
He said his sister wasn't thrilled with his reaction.
"I know my sister's not happy with me right now," he said. "And I wish I hadn't said it but was just raw emotions, to be honest."
Still, he has no plans to trademark "F***, yeah."
"I think we'll leave the trademark alone," he joked.
The Pelicans fell apart last season after the Davis trade talks with the Lakers fell through, and the team then put Davis on a minutes restriction.
Gentry feels by landing the No. 1 pick, it's a big reward for the franchise and the fans.
"Obviously, it's big for our franchise," Gentry said. "I don't think anybody's more deserving from a standpoint of being the owner than Mrs. [Gayle] Benson and as a fan base the fan base that we have."
Its worth noting the day after the Lottery that Zion still has not chosen an agent. pic.twitter.com/oXdTZhkwcuAdam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 15, 2019
He said season-ticket sales were already on the rise, and the team is also selling Zion jerseys.
"They feel it's something that's going to be very positive because we sold a bunch of season tickets and a bunch of suites yesterday and I think that's the way you gotta look at it," he said.
Gentry said great players can come at any pick in the draft and pointed to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Giannis Antetokounmpo as prime examples.
"I think we'll take No. 1 instead," he said, "We're pretty happy where we are."