So Anthony Davis is big-dicking his way off the Pelicans. Even Stevie Wonder could’ve seen this coming after Davis signed with Klutch Sports, but the timing is surprising. When the news broke, Celtics and Lakers fans collectively yelled out in celebration whereas Pelicans fans just yelled.
Now, we have all seen the “Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma” offers and the “Tatum plus 18 first round picks” offers, and those are boring. So I have come up with five teams that aren’t the Lakers or Celtics that could make at least somewhat-enticing offers to New Orleans. The main rule is that AD has stated that he wants to go to a team that can compete for a championship, so sorry Chicago, AD isn’t coming home. Keep in mind, these are done with very little research because that’s how I roll. So if you hate these, that is probably why.
New Orleans get: CJ McCollum, Al-Farouq Aminu, Zach Collins, Jake Layman, 2019 1st round pick (unprotected), 2021 1st round pick (lottery protected)
Portland get: Anthony Davis, Solomon Hill
This deal gets the Pels an all-star quality player back in CJ who can now learn under his dad, Jrue Holiday. Zach Collins seems to have figured out how to play and could be a solid big and Jake Layman has shown flashes in short amounts, including a 20-point quarter against these same Pels just a few days ago. Aminu enjoyed some good years in New Orleans as well but is more included to allow Portland to take back Solomon Hill’s awful contract.
New Orleans get: Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Michael Porter Jr, 2021 1st round pick (unprotected)
Denver get: Anthony Davis, E’twaun Moore, Solomon Hill
Millsap, while a great veteran player, is included purely for salary cap purposes but the real prize for the Pels is the other three players included. Michael Porter Jr was previously predicted as a top 5 pick in the 2018-19 NBA draft but health scares saw him slip down to the Nuggets. The talent is there if he can stay healthy. Barton is a great two way player and Jamal Murray has shown flashes of actual star potential this season.
New Orleans get: George Hill, Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Vincent DiVincenzo, Thon Maker, 2023 1st round pick (unprotected), 2025 1st round pick (unprotected)
Milwaukee get: Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday
The 60-day moratorium for George Hill to be traded again is up the day before the trade deadline so this seems like fate. Hill is only guaranteed for $1m next season so is essentially an expiring deal. Middleton is a very underrated wing and NO would inherit his bird rights to talk extension if that was something they desire. Brogdon is quietly having a 50/40/90 season and has shown great potential. If nothing else, Thon should get an opportunity to play here. Milwaukee get to give Giannis another top-5 player and a wing player who is actually an upgrade over Middleton. Small thing to consider, Milwaukee is pretty close to AD’s hometown of Chicago.
New Orleans get: DeMarre Carroll, Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, Rodions Kurucs, Shabazz Napier, Jared Dudley, 2019 1st round pick (unprotected), NYK 2019 2nd round pick, 2021 1st round pick (lottery protected)
Brooklyn get: Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Solomon Hill, Tim Frazier
For the Pels, this gives them someone who looks to be a stud in Allen, someone who has looked really nice in spurts in Kurucs, some wing depth and cap relief. Some Nets fans may turn their nose up at the thought of moving Allen, Kurucs and two first rounders but a core of Russell, LaVert, AD and Randle could be deadly.
New Orleans get: Ben Simmons, T.J. Warren, Zhaire Smith, Glenn Robinson III, SAC 2019 1st round pick (via SAC)
Philadelphia get: Anthony Davis, Solomon Hill, Stanley Johnson, Jose Calderon
Detroit get: Markelle Fultz, Mike Muscala, Dragan Bender, Wilson Chandler
Phoenix get: Reggie Jackson, Henry Ellenson, DET 2019 1st round pick (lottery protected until 2023. Then turns to two second round picks)
Your opinion of Ben Simmons will probably sway your thoughts on this trade but in reality, Simmons is a one-of-a-kind type talent, jumpshot or no jumpshot, and a great kind of player to build a team around. T.J. Warren, in the midst of a solid year in which he has found a 3-point shot, will help the Pels as well and makes dealing Nikola Mirotic easier to handle. Zhaire Smith and Glenn Robinson III provide the Pels with some much needed wing depth and they move on from Solomon Hill (a common theme in these deals). Fultz gets a new start in Detroit. While Detroit will possibly make Fultz even more depressed, maybe a fresh start is all he needs. The Pistons and Suns essentially swap trash with each other and Philly no longer have to deal with the “shoot a 3 you coward” memes anymore while hoping Jimmy Butler doesn’t attack AD for having a monobrow.
You may like these. You may hate these. Either way let me know. But just be thankful that I didn’t just make this about the Hornets getting AD because, as much of a wet dream as that is, I know it really has no chance of happening. Excuse me while I go cry in the corner.