There's just over a month to go until the NBA trade deadline and one of the most talked about players that could move before this date arrives is New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis.
ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski recently wrote about the Pelicans star: "Davis remains an obsession of several NBA teams full of the necessary trade assets to unfasten him from New Orleans, should the Pelicans ever consider a rebuild—or should Davis ever request a trade.
"However, the Pelicans have no intention of trading an all-world talent under contract through 2021, no matter the return." Davis though might be looking to move elsewhere since there isn't enough around him at the Pelicans to be true contenders in the competitive Western Conference.
In the midst of his sixth NBA season, and the fact he's already a four-time All-Star, a two-time All-NBA First Team selection, and a two-time All-Defensive Second Team selection, it's not surprising to hear so many teams interested in Davis.
Considering Davis would fetch a large price if he were on the trade market, there's only a handful of teams in the NBA that would be able to get close to taking him away from the New Orleans. With that in mind, here are three teams that could be potential trade destinations for him if he was to leave the Pelicans.
Metro USA’s Matt Burke has said that the Celtics continue to be the “only team in the NBA with enough assets to trade” for Davis, suggesting a trade scenario that would send Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, and the Lakers/Kings future draft pick (via Philadelphia) to New Orleans in exchange for Davis and Tony Allen.
However, even if Davis wants out, the Pelicans might not accept this deal since Horford is owed $60 million through the next two seasons (player option in 2019-20), and trading Davis away would essentially mean they would begin a rebuild.
Boston was interested in Davis a year ago and that still seems to be the case today, and considering what they have to offer, they seem the most likely destination if he was to be traded. It gives him a good chance to win a championship over the next couple of seasons as well with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, which is what he wants.
Los Angeles Lakers
Wojnarowski noted that the Celtics are one of just several teams obsessing over Davis' future. Considering the options they have to offer, the Lakers are likely one of the other teams that are interested in the Pelicans star.
Bleacher Report's Dan Favale has suggested the Lakers could offer Corey Brewer, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle, and a 2020 first-round pick in exchange for Alexis Ajinca, Ian Clark, and Davis.
Having Davis would be ideal for the Lakers as it will provide a good lure for potential free agents Paul George and LeBron James to come to Los Angeles. The sweeteners of Kuzma, Ingram, and the 2020 first-rounder could help the deal go through with New Orleans.
Davis has said: "It's not about the money. It's not about having fans. The most important thing to me: Winning. That's what I want to do. And I want to do it here." With this in mind, and considering the Celtics' interest as well, the Cleveland Cavaliers could throw their hat in the ring for the Pelicans star as well.
Out of the three teams listed, this trade is the least likely, but, as we have seen with the Kyrie Irving to Boston during the summer, anything is possible for this franchise so long as the right players and picks are involved.
The Cavs could offer Kevin Love, Channing Frye, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 draft pick to the Pelicans for Davis, which would suit both parties involved. Love provides New Orleans with another big, the Nets' 2018 draft pick is bound to be in a good spot, and Frye can shoot threes and has worked with their head coach Alvin Gentry before.
A Big Three of James, Davis, and Isaiah Thomas would be the best three-man unit in the Eastern Conference and it could legitimately challenge the Golden State Warriors superteam of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for the spot of the best team in the NBA.