The Celtics remain the only team in the NBA will enough assets to trade for Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, making them the easy favorite to land his services if Pelicans GM Dell Demps is forced into trading him.
The good money still says that this will have to wait until at least this summer, but if the Pelicans trade away DeMarcus Cousins in the next few weeks – of which has been rumored in recent days – expect Davis to be back on the trade market as well. Yes, BACK on the trade market as Davis trade rumors actually started up in 2016, even before New Orleans “made a run at it” and landed Cousins. NBC Sports Boston wrote this about Davis and the Celtics in November of 2016 and tied-in NBA writer Chris Mannix said last summer that a package centered around the Lakers 2018 lottery pick (via Philly) and Jayson Tatum would be tough for New Orleans to turn down.
Of course, Mannix said this before the Celtics landed Gordon Hayward and before they traded for Kyrie Irving. So a great deal has changed. But what hasn’t changed is the Celtics’ obsession with Davis, as highlighted by the Adrian Wojnarowski story last month.
To make the money work in a Davis trade, the C’s would definitely have to part with Al Horford - but that would likely be a move go-big-or-go-home Danny Ainge would make. The Pelicans would certainly listen if this package was on the table:
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Lakers/Kings pick (via Philadelphia)
No other team in the NBA could offer the Pelicans this type of package. The Philadelphia 76ers could possibly intrigue New Orleans with some of its future picks and young players, but placing Davis next to Joel Embiid would not make much sense on the court. Other teams on the fringe do not have enough assets (Wizards, Raptors, Bucks, Knicks, Timberwolves, Blazers) and the bottom-feeders of the league would not be interested in Davis anyway considering that we’ve seen that “The Brow” surrounded by below average talent simply translates into a sub .500 record.