After months of speculation, it has finally happened. New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis has requested a trade. First reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Davis’ agent Rich Paul has informed the Pelicans that Davis does not plan to re-sign with the team.
“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” said Paul via Wojnarowski.
Since being drafted by New Orleans with the first pick in the 2012 Draft, Davis has become one of the best players in the NBA. This season, the five-time All-Star is averaging a monster stat line of 29 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, along with over two blocks per game.
Davis could sign a 5-year, $240M contract extension this summer, and can become a free agent in the summer of 2020. https://t.co/Tl7zy7e9UE
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
Davis will be leaving a super-max contract on the table with New Orleans in requesting a trade. The question now for the Pelicans becomes ‘where can we get the most value.’ Despite Paul’s comments, the Pelicans have no obligation to send Davis to a team he would prefer. However, there are potential trade locations that would put Davis on a championship caliber team.
The Feb. 7 trade deadline is quickly approaching. New Orleans may be able to find a trade partner before then, or they could wait until the summer. Here are the potential ways Anthony Davis could get traded.
The most rumored trade destination has always been the Lakers. LeBron James and A.D. together could be arguably one of the most dominant duos of all time. Not only do the Lakers have the young talent to make a trade happen, but L.A. is a location where Davis could re-sign. The big market and history of the Lakers, as well as the weather, make it a prime location. Davis and James share Paul as an agent, making this move all the more likely.
In a trade to acquire Davis, the Lakers would have to give up a haul of young players, and likely some draft picks. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could be the core of the trade. The Lakers are probably going to be more reluctant to give up forward Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma has stepped up in LeBron’s absence, but to get a player like Davis, he is worth trading. Add a draft pick or two, and the Pelicans could bite, sending Davis to Hollywood.
Davis to the Celtics could happen, but not until the offseason. Because of the ‘Rose Rule,’ Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis cannot be on the same team while Irving is on his current contract. Irving has a player option for next season, but he could opt-out, and sign a new deal with the Celtics. This would open up the possibilities for Celtics president Danny Ainge to work his magic and bring A.D. to Boston.
While Jayson Tatum jokingly said he’d trade himself for Anthony Davis, it may end up being a reality. Boston has by far the most assets out of any team looking to make a big splash.
Davis, along with the big contract of Solomon Hill, could be traded to Boston in exchange for Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, and multiple picks. A trade looking something like this could be enough for New Orleans, as Brown and Rozier are both great young talents.
While Boston and L.A. are the most appealing spots for Davis, and where the Pelicans could get a decent amount of value, they could end up trading him anywhere. However, many teams will likely want to avoid a situation where they acquire Davis, only to have him leave during free agency in 2020.
The New York Knicks have been reportedly after Davis, as pairing him and Kristaps Porzingis could be a phenomenal duo. Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr., Emanuel Mudiay and draft picks in exchange for Davis and Hill could work out. Houston could offer Eric Gordon, Clint Capela, James Ennis and picks for Davis. Memphis could try and trade Marc Gasol and Jaren Jackson Jr. for the Pelicans big man.
While these and more are all possibilities, Los Angeles and Boston are the frontrunners without a doubt. Look for New Orleans to get maximum value for Davis. With the Rose Rule in place, L.A. has a head start on Boston, since they won’t give up Irving in any deal. Odds are that Davis will become a Laker, but don’t rule anything out yet. New Orleans has all the leverage at this point.
While the Lakers and Celtics may be squeamish to part with young talent, A.D. is a special player and should be acquired at any and all cost. Let the bidding wars begin.