BEFORE I get started, no. No the New Orleans Pelicans shouldn’t explore trading Anthony Davis. Yet. During the lull of relevant NBA news, Davis’ name has been circulating after he opted to part ways with his previous agent, Thad Fouchon. Of course, when the 5x All-Star was linked to signing with Rich Paul, who also represents Lakers star LeBron James, the Davis-to-LA rumours started to rear there head. Facing an indifferent future, New Orleans needs to appease their superstar big man with more postseason appearances, or risk seeing him in another team’s colours. Is that really a terrible thing though?
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ENTERING his seventh NBA season, Anthony Davis is a household name for anyone who follows the NBA. To the casual fans, who tune in for the big games and are zeroed in at the pointy end of the season, maybe not so much. After being forced to watch the postseason from home for most of his career to date, some may argue there is a low-ceiling on Davis’ popularity and global recognition. He has only featured in a criminally low 13 playoff games and if the Pelicans can’t find a way to help that number trend upwards then they can pretty much kiss AD goodbye.
AFTER re-developing their roster in the offseason, there’s no reason why New Orleans can’t return to the playoffs in 2018-19. New faces like Julius Randle and a few other interesting pieces have been added to their nucleus to soften the loss of DeMarcus Cousins in free agency. There is certainly pressure on this squad to make consecutive playoff appearances in a decade and a slow start could lead to daily Anthony Davis trade rumours. And to be honest, this might be the worst case scenario for NOLA. They have tried (sort of) for years to build around Davis unsuccessfully as they continually fall victim to the ruthless Western Conference. It might be time to blow it up and focus on a rebuild.
THIS is not exactly something New Orleans Pelicans fans would be OK with. I mean, why would you trade away a superstar, who when healthy is one of the top-5 players in the league? The ‘when healthy’ is one reason. All sorts of ailments have held Anthony Davis back from playing over 75 games in ANY of his previous six seasons. That injury history and the fact that New Orleans is semi stuck in limbo might force Dell Demps into making a franchise defining move.
FOR a fair deal to be struck the right team has to come knocking. Someone of Davis’ stature demands an enormous amount of assets to head the other direction in any possible negotiations, with both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics at the forefront of trending rumours. These two storied franchises own the players/picks possible to entertain such a deal, with some other teams likely to throw their hat into the ring. At this stage, though it’s hard to imagine Davis pursuing a move to a non-contender, thus thrusting LA and Beantown to the top of the list.
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LET’S start with the Boston Celtics, who might actually be better off standing pat and seeing what this roster is capable off with all their dudes back. Now that LeBron has left for sunny California, Boston is poised to rule the East for a number of years. Kyrie Irving’s free agency status leaves the Celtics hamstrung to a certain extent, so a mid-season move for Davis would surprise me. If they can lock up Kyrie next offseason though then don’t rule out an AD trade to Boston before the 2019-20 campaign gets underway.
OF course, the Los Angeles Lakers would likely do their best to trump any Celtics offer for a number of reasons. Firstly, I doubt they would want their arch-rivals to get their hands on a player of Davis’ calibre and of course, secondly, he could be a perfect running mate for LeBron James. Pairing the King with AD would make the Lakers almost a must watch team on a nightly basis. With GM’s undoubtedly calling Magic about the availability of their up and coming studs, don’t be shocked if a few of them are moved on in order to get Davis in a purple and gold jersey.
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IF the former No. 1 overall pick chooses to sign with Klutch Sports then you can expect to hear his and LeBron James’ name mentioned a lot in the same sentences. Keep in mind that as a contracted player no such trade for Davis is guaranteed from the Pels side. Apparently, the franchise has no issues over AD’s choice of agent and while it might not have an effect this season, it could be the first stepping stone in a long windy path that leads to a future blockbuster.
EARLIER this year, Davis made comments about a chat he had with Kevin Garnett, who gave the Minnesota Timberwolves 12 years of service before finally capturing that elusive NBA championship with the Celtics in ’08. In the same interview, Davis said; ‘It makes you think because you’re wondering if you’re following in that same path’. That though exactly will be on the forefront of Davis’ mind as this season unfolds and in the next 6/12/24 months don’t rule out him demanding a move to a contender. Of course, NOLA would land a mega-package in return, which might tempt the Pelicans to rip the band-aid off and trade Davis sooner rather than later.
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