Charles Barkley thinks Anthony Davis made a mistake with his trade request.
The 25-year-old star asked the Pelicans to move him in late January and the Lakers had been engaged in discussions about acquiring him. But, no deal was reached before the deadline and Davis remained with New Orleans.
Barkley, an 11-time All-Star who currently works as an analyst for TNT, said he thinks Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, mishandled the situation.
“Don’t ruin your reputation as a great player, one of the nicest guys in the world,” Barkley told reporters Thursday ahead of All-Star weekend (via the Washington Post). “Remember, your agent works for you, you don’t work for him. They handled that situation wrong. It’s going to come back to bite them in the a—. It’s unfortunate.”
The six-time All-Star entered play Thursday averaging 28.5 points and 13.1 rebounds this season. But, he scored just three points in 24 minutes on the floor in the Pelicans’ 118-88 loss to the Magic earlier this week.
“This is a bad situation,” Barkley said. “It’s a bad look for the NBA. Because that kid can’t go out there and give 100 percent because he’s worried about getting hurt. The guy’s the second-best player in the world and he’s got three points? That’s not a good look for the NBA.”
The Celtics and Knicks, amongst others, are expected to explore dealing for Davis after the season. Barkley, however, said he believes the forward will eventually land in Los Angeles because of Paul’s relationship with Lakers star LeBron James.
Barkley tallied 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game over his 16-year career. He retired in 2000 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame six years later.