For months we’ve known that Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans. Although the Pelicans won the draft lottery and paved the way for them to select Zion Williamson with the first overall pick, Davis’ approach towards the situation hasn’t changed. Teams that are expected to be involved in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes include Los Angeles, New York, and Boston.
Los Angeles’ name has been thrown in there because of LeBron James and the fact that they have young players and assets to throw at New Orleans. Unfortunately for them, they tried to pull a trade off months ago, and it backfired on them. According to Jackie MacMullan on the Brian Windhorst Podcast, a deal between the two organizations this offseason looks unlikely.
We have been told, I think, through channels – most of us have heard this same scuttlebutt – that [Pelicans owner] Gayle Benson has basically told him, “To the Lakers, over my dead body.”
This leaves New York and Boston as two of the top remaining trade partners for the Pelicans. The Knicks can offer the #3 pick, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr. and future first-round picks. Would the Pelicans accept this offer? I think it depends on who the Pelicans want to pair Zion with. If the Pelicans want to really make Zion happy, they could trade for and draft his best friend RJ Barrett. It all depends on if the Pelicans see potential in anyone with the third pick.
Then we have Boston, who may be the best-fit trade partner for New Orleans. There was a reason why the Pelicans didn’t deal Davis to the Lakers or anywhere else at the trade deadline, and that’s because they wanted to wait for Boston and see what offer they could make in the offseason.
According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Pelicans still plan on reaching out to Boston and hearing what the organization has to offer in a trade for Anthony Davis.
There have been reports that Davis hasn’t moved from that stance, and if such is the case, sources here told the Herald the Pelicans will reach out to the Celtics as the most obvious trade partner. The Celts may still not be sure about a deal because it’s not known yet what the Pels will want in return for the All-Star, but there seems to be a belief that they’d be able to work things out.
It’s also within the realm of possibility that another team could jump into the picture, but it’s hard to see the Lakers as one of those teams. New Orleans sources said the team “won’t be doing business” with that club, with the bitterness from the Lakers’ attempt to engineer a Davis deal during the season still seething within the Pelicans’ organization.
It’s still unknown how much Irving’s decision will impact the Davis proceedings, but the Celtics seem ready to make their bid for AD whether Kyrie stays or goes.
So it seems a conversation between the two organizations will indeed happen when the time comes, even if Kyrie is on the team or not. The Celtics have plenty of assets and draft picks they can offer in a trade, including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, and a ton of first-round picks. The Pelicans may see potential in pairing one or two of those players next to Zion for their foreseeable future.
The Pelicans will continue to try their hardest to keep Anthony Davis in New Orleans, but if his stance hasn’t changed since the draft, it may never change. If New Orleans wants to receive the best possible package in return for Anthony Davis, making a trade with Boston may be what they have to do.
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