- The New Orleans Pelicans have given teams an idea of what they want in an Anthony Davis trade and may look to complete a deal before the NBA draft on June 20, according to ESPN.
- With the Pelicans looking for a package that includes an All-Star, a player with All-Star potential, and draft picks, it may take multiple teams to complete a deal.
- With time ticking to make a deal, a possible Davis trade could develop quickly and swell in size if the teams who are interested don’t have the pieces the Pelicans want.
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After being temporarily shelved for a few months, the Anthony Davis trade talks are back on.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the new Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin has begun telling teams what the Pelicans would want in return for Davis. From the sounds of it, it could be a blockbuster.
The Pelicans reportedly want an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential, and two first-round picks in exchange for Davis.
While that would be a haul, according to Wojnarowski, Griffin believes such a deal may need a third team to complete. Wojnarowski said on “SportsCenter” that, for example, perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers could try to trade their young players to another team to send the pieces the Pelicans want for Davis.
According to Wojnarowski, the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks have all been in contact with the Pelicans about Davis.
As Wojnarowski noted, it’s unclear if the Pelicans will get everything they want, given that Davis has one year remaining on his contract and can become a free agent in 2020.
Furthermore, according to Wojnarowski, the Pelicans would like to do a deal before the draft. Draft picks become far less valuable once selections have been made. With the draft approaching on June 20, a deal could be made sooner, rather than later.
The problem for the teams who have reportedly reached out is that they may lack the total packages that the Pelicans want for Davis.
The Knicks and Lakers, for example, have several young, talented players, perhaps even some with All-Star talent in the Pelicans’ eyes. They also have future draft picks to offer. But neither team has a current All-Star who could likely help the Pelicans win now.
The Nets have an All-Star in D’Angelo Russell, but he is a restricted free agent and would have to agree to a sign-and-trade to New Orleans (or sign off on re-signing in New Orleans in a pre-draft trade). Without Russell in the offer, the Nets have some talented young players, but none who look like clear-cut future All-Stars and they just traded their 2019 draft pick.
The Clippers have a young, promising guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and some solid young role players to add in a trade, but they don’t have high future lottery picks to offer or a current All-Star.
The Boston Celtics are widely regarded to have the best trade package to offer (young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, plus several future first-round picks), but it’s unclear if they would deal for Davis without knowing if Kyrie Irving will re-sign with them in free agency.
This is where a third or even fourth team may have to come in. The teams mentioned above may have to deal assets to others in exchange for the pieces that the Pelicans want. It’s easy to imagine such a deal swelling in size as all parties look to make sure they feel they get fair returns.
A league source told Business Insider in February that there was a belief that major transactions could be held up until the Davis situation was resolved. The Pelicans don’t have to deal Davis before the draft, but if they wait, the offers may only get worse. There is also a belief that landing Davis before free agency could become a recruiting tool for teams.
With 10 days until the draft, the momentum and size of a Davis trade may snowball.
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