Anthony Davis Trade : The SportsRush presents to you the team wise breakdown of post lottery packages teams could offer for Anthony Davis and the likelihood of the trades
New Orleans Pelicans just landed their future. Let me be clear, Anthony Davis is an All-NBA talent and he was absolutely the best thing to happen to them in the post CP3 era for the Pelicans (erstwhile Hornets). But the Pelicans could never build around Davis and the high point of 7 years in New Orleans is a 2nd round playoffs appearance last year where they got chucked out by the Golden State Warriors without much fuss.
Anthony Davis has been the best prospect drafted since LeBron came to the NBA, and while Cavs could never do much with LeBron James talent, at least they had an NBA finals appearance and a conference championship. Pelicans have been nowhere near that level of decent with Davis getting him stuck on teams with very little help by throwing big money at the likes of Solomon Hill, Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik along with a refusal to trade for or approach big name free agents to try and instead surround Davis with emerging talents like Eric Gordon (given max contract after struggling), Jrue Holiday (took him years to reach his current level and by himself he’s not close to being enough) and Ryan Anderson.
All in all it has been a lesson in how not to keep a star happy in a small market and rightfully Dell Demps has been done away with and replaced by David Griffin a much more capable and well respected GM by the New Orleans Pelicans. Griffin took on the job which on the whole looked good, due to the mammoth return the AD trade was likely going to bring, allowing him to remake the team with a clean slate. But the draft lottery turned it all upside down and made the situation even better than Griffin could have possibly hoped. New Orleans had the 6th worst record in the NBA and a 6% chance of landing the number 1 pick, but they went agains the odds to land the number 1 pick and now New Orleans future gets that much better.
Zion: Can’t wait to get to work bro!
— Dan Molloy (@DanMolloyTV) May 15, 2019
Griffin has been in the Front Office during drafts a total of 5 times and his teams have landed the #1 pick 4 out of those 5 times. His record with those picks haven’t been great (Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett?), but with Zion Williamson in this draft, its not like he can mess this up. What New Orleans now has is Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson and everything else the AD trade will bring in and that could very well bring future all stars or even more draft picks. Let us analyze the trade packages that teams interested in Anthony Davis could now conjure after the draft order has been set.
Boston Celtics –
The Boston Celtics did not have a good draft lottery. They had 4 potential 1st round picks in the 2019 draft and 1 of them just ended up in the worst position (14th pick for Sacramento Kings, in a flimsy draft) and the Memphis pick which was top-8 protected, stays with the Grizzlies after they moved up 6 spots and will now draft at #2 spot in the first round.
Boston just saw experienced its title hopes go up in flames as Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward returning to a team that was 1 game away from the NBA Finals lost in a gentleman’s sweep in round 2 to the Milwaukee Bucks. Most sources around the NBA claim that Kyrie Irving is no longer interested in re-signing with the Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, New York Kicks and Los Angeles Lakers lead the Vegas odd makers list for Kyrie’s next stop.
Without Kyrie, Boston looks unlikely to trade for Anthony Davis. The Celtics will have to give up two out of Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown along with significant draft capital to pull off the trade. There are 2 issues with this trade however.
a.) Anthony Davis is a 1 year rental until he promises otherwise and Boston just found out what a promise from a superstar player approaching his Free Agency is worth.
b.) If Kyrie doesn’t come back to the Celtics, they will have to reposition and build around Tatum and Brown, so they can not afford to pull of a trade that will most likely require both those players to head to New Orleans for Davis who may or may not stay.
If they pull the trigger the deal will be something along the tune of:
Boston Trades: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Aaron Baynes, #14 pick (from Sacramento Kings) and #20 pick (from LA Clippers)
New Orleans Trades: Anthony Davis
This deal will be pulled only if Kyrie Irving re-signs with the Celtics and in that case they will have on their roster Kyrie, AD, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Marcus Smart. They will have all of their cap tied to these players and will have to deal in the buyout market the way Houson does. Gordon Hayward’s contract seems untradeable at this point and unless someone takes a big chance on him and his 2 years left, Celics will be contenders but not favorites for an NBA title.
P.S. Davis hasn’t mentioned Boston as a preferred destination and sources around the NBA say that Knicks and the Lakers might be the only teams he might re-sign with, so its unlikely Ainge pulls this trade unless Davis expressly tells him otherwise.
Likelihood of the trade: 25-35% (given that it hinges on Kyrie and Davis acting like adults and Ainge gives up his stock pile of assets)
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks got the number 3 pick in the draft lottery and while their fans were sure they’d land Zion and therefore get AD, that did not happen (surprise surprise – mathematics).
The New York Knicks are a team that AD will commit to re-signing if they can pull off a trade so the Knicks owe it to themselves and their fans to try. But when your best asset heading to the Free Agency is copious amounts of cap space, there is not much you can trade for a star like Anthony Davis.
The following are the players on the roster and the draft picks of the New York Knicks for the upcoming season that they can trade:
i.) Lance Thomas
ii.) Frank Ntilikina
iii.) Kevin Knox
iv.) Alonzo Trier
v.) Mitchell Robinson
vi.) Dennis Smith Junior
vii.) Pick #3 2019
viii.) NYK 2020 1st rounder
ix.) NYK 2021 1st rounder
x.) Mavs 2021 1st Rounder
That is so underwhelming, that if this was anyone but the Knicks, no one would be talking about any possibility of a team with this asset list in contention for Anthony Davis. Like imagine talking about Memphis trying to trade for Davis. They do have a borderline all star in Mike Conley and a 2nd pick in the draft over Knicks #3, but still. Anyway, it is what it is and 2 max cap slots means Knicks might land a decent free agent or two and that makes it an attractive destination for Davis if he wants to form a dynasty.
A trade between the two franchisees will look something like this:
NYK Sends: Lance Thomas, Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Junior, Pick #3 2019, NYK 2020 1st Rounder, Mavs 2021 1st Rounder
NOP Sends: Anthony Davis
The issues with this trade are plenty. Dennis Smith Junior is an above average prospect but the Pels have Jrue Holiday and they need better passing from the front court position. Lance Thomas is a very poor salary filler, but the Knicks don’t have anyone else. Mitchell Robinson was a brilliant find by the Knicks FO, but he projects to be a Hassan Whiteside as a best case scenario and that is not a great return. Of the draft picks, the #3 pick in 2019 is a good one if the Pelicans are completely sold on the idea of reuniting RJ Barett and Zion Williamson and that becomes a priority for them. Beyond that the 2020 Knicks and 2021 Mav 1st rounders don’t project to be very high assuming AD stays with the Knicks and they get mid to top tier free agent to pair with him, and Mavs with Doncic and Porzingis keep Dallas in the playoff spots.
The best way for this deal to go through is for the Knicks to bring in a 3rd trading partner, something that ESPN analysts have talked a lot about, but at this point I do not see what the Knicks can offer that sweetens this deal for anyone. Maybe sending the Mavs 1st rounder and a 2nd round pick to a 3rd team who will absorb the Solomon Hill contract in exchange, if the Pelicans value that more.
This trade is contingent on 2 factors majorly:
a.) The Pelicans absolutely do not want to trade with the Lakers and will take a worse package to send Davis to the East.
b.) They like RJ Barrett a lot more than anyone they could pick with the number 4 pick, like Jarett Culver, Darius Garland or D’Andre Hunter
Likelihood of the Trade: 40-60% (Range hugely based on Pels fascination with RJ Barrett)
Los Angeles Lakers:
The Lakers came out of the draft lottery as the huge winners, second only to the New Orleans Pelicans themselves. Going from 11th position to the 4th pick is just the right amount of jump the Lakers could have made without the fans clamoring for an investigation into tampering. The 4th pick is not better than the 3rd pick, for sure. But its not much worse and especially in a draft that fades massively after #1, there is not much difference between a Darius Garland/Jarett Culver/D’Andre Hunter and an RJ Barrett.
Kyle Kuzma had an unimpressive season but he has the potential to be a volume bench scorer, much the same way a Kevin Knox would be, but at a much lower price. Then theres the matter of Lonzo Ball. There are 2 scenarios here that this trade could include when it comes to Lonzo Ball. Ball is a polarizing prospect and while his playmaking and defense are off the charts, his scoring is a major concern. He also has a poor history of injuries and was in fact having his best scoring month with his aggressiveness until another injury ended his season.
Now Pelicans have not been a fan of Ball’s off court drama that is his father, LaVar Ball. But this season gone past, LaVar has been surprisingly mellow and might be focusing more on the youngest Ball brother LaMelo who will be in college this year. With Ball and Holiday, Pelicans get one of the best defensive back court duos in the NBA. Ball’s playmaking compliments Holiday’s scoring well and Lonzo plays his best when he has a rim runner on the team and Zion Williamson will eat heavily at the bucket with a facilitator like Ball.
The other scenario is involving the Phoenix Suns in the trade to make it a 3 team deal. The Suns have made it clear they like Ball and his fit is perfect next to Devin Booker. Ball will help Bookers poor defense much like Klay Thompson does for Steph Curry and Booker will is a mega volume scorer who will compensate for Ball’s lack of scoring. The playmaking between those two will also serve the Suns well. What the Suns send to the Pelicans though is a matter that will be dictated by the Pelicans completely. Do they like Josh Jackson and Mikal Bridges? Is TJ Warren’s veteran presence and scoring something they want this season? Will the Suns be willing to give up their #6 pick for former #2 Lonzo Ball? Lonzo projects a much higher upside for the Suns than any other PG left on the block at #6, assuming Morant (and possibly Garland) is off the board when they pick. Do the Pelicans say rebuilding their future with no to #1, #4, #6, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma and a couple of 2nd rounders or a future 1st from the Lakers? That would be as good a trade as the Pelicans are likely to get.
Lakers Receive: Anthony Davis
Phoenix Suns Receive: Lonzo Ball
New Orleans Pelicans Recevie: #4 pick 2019 (Lakers), #6 pick 2019 (Suns), Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, 2020 Lakers 1st Rounder, 2020 Suns 2nd Rounder
Likelihood of the Trade: 50-75% (depending on Pelicans willingness to deal with the Lakers irrespective of merit of the trade assets)