The penny finally dropped on the Anthony Davis trade speculation that has been constantly discussed almost since the season began after his agent Rich Paul confirmed that his client wants out from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Davis has decided not to sign the supermax contract extension he is eligible for his summer and has asked for a trade to a team that will allow him to challenge for the NBA championship. The power forward’s agent revealed their only intention was to be open and honest about their decision.

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and competes for a championship," Paul told ESPN Monday. "Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that's the reason for informing them of this decision now. That's in the best interests of both Anthony's and the organization's future."

The Pelicans, who were desperate to hold on to their prized asset, released a statement to confirm the trade request, but made it clear that it will be done on their terms and not the player's. The trade deadline is Feb.7 but it remains unclear if they will sanction the move midseason or wait until the summer.

The New Orleans franchise also asked the NBA to “strictly enforce the tampering rules” associated with such a request in their statement and the league have obliged. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that the NBA has opened an investigation with the reason being an “on-the-record” trade request by a player or an agent.

Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, Jan. 7, 2019. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

"We commenced an investigation this morning upon reading the reports regarding Anthony Davis. That process is ongoing,” an NBA spokesman was quoted as saying by Wojnarowski. “One reason: an on-the-record request for a trade by an agent or a player. Davis could be fined.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have been installed as the favorites to land the power forward, whose agent also represents LeBron James. While multiple reports have also stated that Davis’ preference is to join the three-time NBA champion at the Staples Center.

And the Los Angeles franchise will be keen to get the trade over the line before the deadline rather than wait for the summer when the Boston Celtics – long-time admirers of the forward – will be able to enter the race. But there are certain to be other teams also interested in the trade before the deadline.

The Lakers will have to sacrifice some of their young talents in order to land Davis with reports stating Lonzo Ball is likely going to be part of any package that they offer. The young point guard is highly rated, but has not lived up to his potential this season averaging just 9.9 points and 5.4 assists.

Ball, who is currently sidelined with an ankle injury, could pose a problem for Lakers in their trade talks with the Pelicans with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting he does not want to join the New Orleans franchise. The player’s camp feel it will be better suited for him to join a third team that does not have an established point guard.