Teams That Could Land "The Brow"
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It's been a tough week to be a sports fan in New Orleans. First, the Saints got hosed in the NFC championship game against the L.A Rams after a blatant missed pass interference call. Now it's gotten worse for the other New Orleans professional sports team. Basketball columnist Adrian Wojnarowski announced Monday morning that Anthony Davis agent Rich Paul has told the Pelicans that their franchise player would like to be traded out of the big easy. The Pelicans failing to keep both Rajon Rondo and Boogie Cousins, have made Davis a one-man team again. They failed to establish a competitive team since drafting the “brow” first overall in 2012. The Pelicans have won only one playoff series and could be missing the playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons. With that being said the Pelicans did say they would trade him when they feel like the time's right. So the chances of him being dealt by the trade deadline seem slim. These are my top 5 trade targets for Anthony Davis.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Yup this seems like the easiest answer. With Anthony Davis meeting with LeBron James last month for dinner after their game against one another, Anthony Davis wrote a cryptic tweet saying he would rather take legacy over money. If that's the case there is nobody in the NBA that has a bigger legacy than LeBron.
The young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and former number two pick Lonzo Ball plus picks make up an enticing package for Davis. All three players have the potential to be All-Stars in the league. Kuzma has shown the most promise so far averaging over 19 points in 33 minutes of play this season while shooting just under 46 percent and set a career-high in points with 41 just a few weeks ago. With LeBron out of the lineup, the Lakers have been looking to Kuzma to score more baskets. Lonzo Ball might not score a lot but does have a nose to add some dimes and isn't afraid to go to the paint and grab rebounds. However, Ball will be out for the next 4-6 week with a left ankle sprain. Brandon Ingram has a knack of scoring too but has to produce more with the absence of James. The Lakers have struggled since LeBron hurt his groin on Christmas Day, going a poultry 6-10. If acquiring Davis is a big priority for the Lakers front office, LA could be the hottest thing in the NBA once again. A Davis-James combo smells like a potential championship team.
2. New York Knicks
Every time a big name is either available for trade or in free agency the Knicks always seemed to be knocking on the door. New York has the money to sign not only Davis but another big name too *cough, cough* Kevin Durant. With Enes Kanter being a free agent this summer, New York will save a lot of money and could offer up Porzingis for a sign and trade. The 23 years old former all-star is recovering from an ACL tear and will sit out this season. Tim Hardaway Jr and a lottery pick for Davis could be included in the deal as well. Hardaway Jr is a pure scorer who is having the best season of his career at the age of 26. Porzingis still can be an impact player once he comes back from injury. He's still very young and taking the necessary time off should help him go back to being a hundred percent. The lottery pick is the best present for the Pelicans in this trade. The Knicks tanking could lead to the number one pick overall or even two for that matter. In that case, having either Duke freshmen's Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett as their pick (depending on the lottery) could make the rebuilding process less sour for the Pelicans. Williamson looks like a generational player that comes every ten years and the Canadian Barrett has huge potential being the number one star on a team. The Knicks landing Davis and adding another superstar in the offseason could have people look at the Knicks as a big threat in the Eastern Conference.
3. Boston Celtics
Recent reports suggest that AD isn't interested in Boston right now because of the uncertainty of Kyrie Irving staying in Boston and the "Rose Rule". The rule states that if a player has won league MVP, or is a two-time All-NBA or All-Star, that player can make up to 30 percent of the team's salary. Kyrie Irving qualifies for this rule and so does Anthony Davis, the Celtics would have major cap issues. For Boston to keep Irving and acquire Davis, the Celtics would have to sign Irving to a new contract in the summertime and trade for Davis in the summer months as well. It's a long shot but Boston would be a great fit for Davis, and they have some young pieces that they can grab the Pelicans attention in a trade. Jaylon Brown and Jason Tatum are two pieces the Pelicans would be very interested in. Tatum is a great defender that has a knack of guarding the best shooters in the league, not to mention being able to score points when his team needs him too. Brown is a good young player that would actually benefit from a move to New Orleans. Brown would have the ball more in his hands and could take his game to a higher level. Also, an Irving-Davis trade isn't out of the realm of possibility either. Irving would be a big piece for the Pelicans and maybe New Orleans can add another key player from the trade with Boston. Don't count out the Celtics in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers would be a wildcard team in the AD sweepstakes for sure and have actually said they're not interested, but that could change. Philly has some major players that can be dealt for Davis. Ben Simmons would be the first name on the list if the Pelicans were looking to Philly. Simmons is an All-Star and would be a showstopper in New Orleans. He's become one of the most exciting young players in the NBA. Another player that could on NO's list is Jimmy Butler. He's a bit of a problem in the locker room calling out coaches and players to the media but you can't deny his talent. Also throwing in Markelle Fultz in the deal and maybe a Wilson Chandler or Amir Johnson to help with the cap could be a solid deal. Just the thought of having an Emid-Davis frontcourt is plain scary.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
The least expected team on this list is the Clippers. The Clippers don't have a roster that can wow the Pelicans, but the Clippers could trade away 2019 first round pick Shaivonte Aician Gilgeous-Alexander who has the talent to be a starting point guard in the NBA. The 20-year-old has had some good games this season scoring career highs of 24 points twice this season. He's a young player that the Pelicans can use at the one position. Montrezl Dashay Harrell and Tobias Harris are also having nice seasons. Both players have anchored the Clippers offense and team to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. They're the type of roster players that can help build the Pelicans team for the future. If Davis can't go to the Lakers than he can play for the other basketball team in LA. The Clippers this summer will be aggressive signing other attracted free agents including Kwahi Leonard, so if they somehow get Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard the battle of LA will be more competitive than it's ever been.