Anthony Davis Trade News : The SportsRush looks at the contenders as Pelicans officially start listening to trade offers for Anthony Davis
The farce is over. Or maybe David Griffin really believed he could convince AD to stay. The rest of the world that had seen Davis in the “That’s All Folks” T-Shirt knew there was no coming back, but Griffin had to try. He is a real Basketball Front Office person, not a fake one like Rob Pelinka is and whatever Magic Johnson was.
David Griffin came into the Pelicans fold and said all the right things. He tried to gain some leverage in the Anthony Davis trade talks where Anthony Davis and his agent Rich Paul’s non-stop talking had lead to a point where very few teams were interested and most of them knew AD wanted to go to only a couple of places, where he would sign a long term deal, as he is due to become a free agent after next season. Earlier in the week Griffin sat with Davis and Rich Paul to try and pitch a new team to Davis and get him to stay.
The earliest reports that came out said that the meeting was a very respectful one, and there was positive headway made and fans in Los Angeles almost started to panic. There was also talk of a second meeting to further discuss the possibilities of keeping AD in New Orleans but that all seems to have been incorrect unless AD changed his mind (we all know AD probably changed his mind) and the Pelicans are now operating with the belief that Anthony Davis is done at the Pelicans.
Shams Charania dropped a lot of insider news on Tuesday afternoon, the biggest among them being the Anthony Davis trade talk, that continues to be the longest and weirdest saga of trade news since the Chris Paul trade debacle (No Thanks David Stern) from the erstwhile New Orleans Hornets. But it is now official. New Orleans Pelicans are open for business involving Anthony Davis. Shams writing for The Athletic reported that Pelicans have officially started listening to offers with the four teams holding primary interest being Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.
Los Angeles Clippers also get discussed as Davis is open to signing there long term, but their Front Office is seemingly staying focused on Free Agency first, but with a the team that they have in their Front Office, it is likely they will do their due diligence in exploring trading options if they are interested in Davis. (Wow, I miss the days when the Clippers had to wait and see if the likes of Caron Butler had an interest in coming to them)
Of the 4 mentioned teams the Boston Celtics remain the team with the best possible assets but the timing of the news is not a good sign for them. Kyrie Irving’s decision remains a big factor in determining whether the Celtics trade their young core for Davis. Re-sign Kyrie Irving and trade for AD, re-sign Al Horford (player option) and hope Gordon Hayward can regain more of his old self than he did this past season and Boston might have the best roster in the NBA if Durant bolts from the Warriors.
But if Kyrie doesn’t re-sign, then the Celtics get a one year rental in Davis and will have lost their young core and will have to start rebuilding all over again. The problem for the Celtics is that Kyrie Irving can only sign on the 1st of July. Kyrie has said in the past that he doesn’t owe anyone sh-t and his decision will be made after the 1st of July and not before.
Boston can still try to talk to Kyrie and get him to unofficially agree to come back and then make the trade for Davis, but at this point Kyrie is too much of an unknown commodity for that scenario to be likely. This remains the Celtics biggest problem and why the timing of the Pelicans listening to offers for Davis could not have been worse for the Celtics, who have already once asked the Pelicans to hold off on dealing Davis, in promise that they would trade their own farm for Davis. Now it seems they may not be in the play at all.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are suddenly in the pole position and might not even have to offer all the players and picks that they did last trade deadline. the Lakers final offer for Davis in February included the following: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Moritz Wagner, Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell Pope, 2 first round picks, 2 second round picks and were willing to take Solomon Hill and his massive contract for 2019-20 season off the Pelicans books. Basically the Lakers wanted to see how far LeBron, AD and the meme team could go in the playoffs. Our guess? Not very far.
The Lakers no longer have to make this package available. Griffin, before he was in the running to take the VP of basketball operations at Pelicans, came on ESPN and spoke glowingly about the potential of Brandon Ingram and how he is the best piece a deal for Davis could be built around. Ingram suffered a blood clot but it turned out to be less serious than feared and Ingram will be back to full fitness by the time training camp rolls around.
The latest news on Lonzo Ball also seems to be positive. While LaVar has been all over screaming about not wanting Lonzo to go to New Orleans, there is only so much he can do. And Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is a fan of a Ball-Holiday front court as per SB Nation’s resident Pelicans writer Oleh Kosel giving the Lakers a lot of leverage, with Davis’ continued interest in joining the Lakers and re-signing there.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks pieces aren’t great. Frank Ntilikina is a player that is only in the league because of the intangible upside that keeps getting lower and lower with each passing season. Kevin Knox had a historically bad rookie season. Dennis Smith Junior might never be a star (or starter?) in this league.
The Knicks have one major advantage over the Lakers though (although it isn’t much when you compare the rest of the package) and that is their number 3 pick in the draft. The draft is seen by many as a 3 man draft. Prospects that get picked between 4-10 are good players but do not seemingly have the superstar upside that Zion, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett might have.
The New York Knicks also have 2 picks from the Mavs that they can include in a trade but once Porzingis returns to full strength this season, the Mavs pick will lose its value as the Mavs team improves. The Knicks hopes rest more on free agency and Kevin Durant, but if they are to trade for Davis, their hope will be that the Pelicans are extremely fascinated by the idea of reuniting Davis and expected 3rd pick RJ Barrett in New Orleans.
The Brooklyn Nets are a surprise late addition to the AD sweepstakes. Brooklyn has its own eyes at the Free Agency market, with Shams also reporting that D’Angelo Russell’s market is heating up with interest from Indiana, Orlando and Minnesota to add to the Nets interest in bringing him back. They also are seen as players in the Kyrie Irving and Tobias Harris Free Agency sweepstakes. An offer for Davis will have to be centered around Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie who have risen to prominence in Brooklyn.
The Nets though will have to give up a bunch of their future picks which they last did in that unfortunate trade with Boston and are only now regaining their ability to draft with all of their future picks in their own hands. Leveraging their future for what could be a 1 year rental will be a tough sell, however if they can get both Davis and Kyrie onboard that would make them instant contenders with their good role players in LeVert, Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and would be worth leveraging a future picks for.
Nets will have to find a team to take Allen Crabbe’s final year contract though as Crabbe opted in for the upcoming season that will pay him $18.5 million coming off a year where he didn’t play at all due to injury. Offloading that contract will require giving up a pick too.
Los Angeles Clippers
A Clippers trade for Davis might look something like this, if they get involved, although its too early to tell if they will get involved: Danilo Gallinari, Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet, 2020 first-round pick (lottery-protected via PHI), 2021 first-round pick (unprotected via MIA), 2020 second-round pick, 2021 second-round pick.
What’s your trade package for Anthony Davis? pic.twitter.com/PBXAfSybMl
— LWOS LA Lakers (@LWOSLALakers) June 4, 2019