NBA

Anthony Davis.

This could be a defining year for Anthony Davis' future with the New Orleans Pelicans

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Anthony Davis has spent his five-year NBA career with the New Orleans Pelicans and is considered one of the true superstars in the league.

He is arguably the best power forward around and has always been dominant since he was drafted with the number one overall pick in 2012.

But the great players are always judged on winning and Davis has not enjoyed much of that with the Pelicans during his five years with the franchise.

He has only featured in the playoffs on one occasion and has too often seen his season come to an end early and is forced to watch the league's top stars battle it out on the biggest stage.

The 24-year-old has regularly been a one-man band in New Orleans and hasn't had the talent to succeed despite his huge numbers every season.

But this year, he has fellow All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins by his side and their partnership has elevated the team's chances of making it to the postseason and competing with the best teams in the west.

New Orleans Pelicans v Charlotte Hornets

Cousins has never made it to the playoffs and has an added motivation to finally end that drought in his career.

But even though the Pels are benefiting from his talents, Boogie could directly or indirectly have a major influence on the future of the team.

Decision

Having the former Sacramento Kings star by his side has shown AD just how much easier winning can be with another talented player to work with.

He hasn't had this luxury during his first five years and in the current NBA era, it's almost impossible to win without at least two All-Star players on the roster.

New Orleans Pelicans v Washington Wizards

The worry for the Pelicans is that Cousins will be a free agent in the summer and it's unclear whether he will commit to them and re-sign.

If he decides to depart the Big Easy for a better opportunity, it could have a huge impact on Davis' future as he'll return to square one and be the lone star on the team, a feeling he knows all too well and won't enjoy.

The fact of the matter is, the Louisiana-based outfit can't attract marquee free agents and will continue to struggle to put good pieces around the four-time All-Star.

Ambitious

In a recent interview with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, he opened up about his ambitions and stated that there's only one thing he's interested in.

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans

"Winning. That's it. That's how you're judged," he said. "You can score, you can dominate. You can do whatever. But they calculate everything off winning. You know that. I know that. Everybody in the league knows that. I hear it all the time: 'Anthony is a good player, but he hasn't won anything. He's not a winner. He hasn't been to the playoffs in two years.'"

"It bothers me. You know you're doing everything in your power to try and win. Playing through injuries, playing a ton of minutes, diving on the floor, but you just can't come up with enough wins to go to the playoffs. And it isn't enough just going to the playoffs. You want to make noise. You want to be a threat.

"People judge you. For DeMarcus and me, this is the time. The time is now."

According to Woj, one team who "remains vigilant" in their pursuit of the All-NBA forward is the Boston Celtics.

New Orleans Pelicans v Denver Nuggets

The C's are a team on the rise and are primed to compete for championships for years to come. They have one of the youngest and most exciting rosters in the league and genuine star power in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Adding Davis to that mix would make them even more formidable and with one of the best coaches in the league in Brad Stevens, it would be a devastating fit.

The Kentucky product is certainly aware of the interest. With the trade rumors regarding the Celtics constantly doing the rounds, Davis decided to approach general manager Dell Demps and ask him about it.

"He told me that [Boston] was calling, but nothing was going to happen," Davis said. "At the same time, though, you see how organizations treat players. Isaiah Thomas. DeMarcus [Cousins] told me that the [Kings] told him that he wasn't going to get traded, but they traded him. Isaiah took his team to the Eastern Conference finals, and they traded him.

New Orleans Pelicans v Denver Nuggets

"It makes you wonder: Does this organization really have my back? I've been loyal to this organization. I love it here. I love this team. I think we're moving in the right direction. DeMarcus, Rondo, some other players that are helping us, but people get judged on winning. And I want to win.

"It's not about the money. It's not about having fans. The most important thing to me: winning. That's what I want to do. And I want to do it here."

'The Brow' is in the second season of a five-year, $127 million contract and is saying all the right things but the ball is firmly in the Pelicans' court.

He's made it clear he wants to win and if they can't make that happen in the short-term, they could lose the face of their franchise. This summer could determine where his and the team's future lies.

Topics:
New Orleans Pelicans
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Anthony Davis

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