This past Monday, one of the NBA’s best players Anthony Davis, informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he does not intend to sign an extension with the team, and has officially requested to be traded away from the only team he has ever played for. Davis is currently averaging a career high in points per game (29.3 PPG), rebounds per game (13.3 RPG), assists per game (4.4 APG), and steals per game (1.7 SPG).
His agent, Rich Paul, has made it clear that Davis wants to play for a team with a chance to compete for a championship. Now, he won’t be going to the Golden State Warriors because they could not afford to have that many of the best players in the league, however there are a few teams that have a legitimate chance at landing the six time all star. Here are the Pro’s and Con’s for the three teams that I feel would be the best fit for Anthony Davis.
Image: Anthony Davis on the court during a home game
The Los Angeles Lakers
PROS: This has been the most popular choice by all the analysts and NBA experts around the league. The Lakers currently have a lot of players under the age of 25 on their roster, 4 of whom have shown serious potential to become stars in this league (Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart). They also have the cap space to sign Davis to a long term extension after the season is over and would allow Davis to become the next great big man in Los Angeles.
Oh, and Davis’s agent Rich Paul, also happens to be the agent for one LeBron James, the current face of the Lakers organization. LeBron has made it clear that he wants to play with Davis and giving LeBron another top 10 player in the NBA to play alongside the him would instantly make the Lakers a top contender in the West for the next four seasons.
Image: Davis and James embrace after their game in Los Angeles this year
CONS: The Pelicans are already upset over losing Davis and don’t want to help the Lakers get better. The Lakers would need to be willing to part ways with three of the four players mentioned in the paragraph above, along with a future draft pick in order to acquire the star big man. By doing this, the Lakers would essentially be giving up a good chunk of their roster for just one player.
Don’t get me wrong, Davis is a phenomenal talent, but in his six years in New Orleans Davis has never been able to carry a team past the Conference Semifinals. With LeBron currently in the midst of his worst injury of his professional career, and not having a solid core to back the two stars up, it is not be certain that the Lakers would make it out of the West.
Image: LeBron watches from the bench while recovering from a groin injury
The Boston Celtics
PROS: The Celtics are the 2nd most popular choice for Davis and the only team in my mind that could match the Lakers in terms of prospects and cap space to bring Davis to the team. The Celtics also have a young core of players who they are currently building around (Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, and Jaylen Brown). The Celtics are currently led by Kyrie Irving, and Gordon Hayward is currently working his way back into all star form after suffering a gruesome leg injury that cost him the entire 2017-2018 season.
The Celtics are also in a big market and would be willing to sign Davis to a long term extension if they could get him. One thing the Celtics do have that beats the Lakers are their draft picks. The Celtics currently have the rights to three different top 15 picks in the 2019 trades that could be used in a package with some of their young players in order to bring Davis to Boston.
Image: Davis and Irving talking after the Pelicans vs Celtics game in Boston
CONS: The Celtics can’t trade for Davis until July 1st 2019 due to a clause called “The Rose Rule”. The “Rose Rule” states that certain players coming off their rookie-scale contracts can earn 30 percent of the salary cap as opposed to 25 percent. To be eligible a player must have achieved one of three accolades during the first four seasons of his career: MVP award, Defensive Player of the Year award, or two All-NBA selections. However, NBA teams cannot trade for more than one player who has signed an extension under the “Rose Rule”, a limitation that is only applicable when the players are still on their “Rose Rule” extensions.
The Celtics acquired Irving via trade in August 2017 so they cannot deal for Davis or any other player that has signed such an extension until Irving leaves or agrees to a new deal. Irving can become un unrestricted free agent on July 1st and would have to restructure his deal in order for the Celtics to acquire Davis. Also, like the Lakers, they would be giving up a good chunk of their young talent for one player.
Image: Irving confused during game
The Los Angeles Clippers
PROS: The Clippers are my surprise team on this list, however they have a lot to offer for a player of Davis’ caliber. First, the Clippers will have a lot of money to spend in the 2019 offseason. With all the expiring contracts that will be off the books, the Clippers could sign two players to a Max contract. This means if Davis comes to play for the Clippers they could sign another top player to play alongside Davis. The Clippers also have a solid core of players and could give a nice package back to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis.
The Clippers would have to part way with Montrezl Harrell and Tobias Harris in order to make this deal work, along with at least 1 more player and a draft pick. The team is also in the works of building a new stadium in Inglewood and could sell Davis on the fact that with him and another big name star on the Roster. They could become the new team to beat in Los Angeles, especially with LeBron at the end of his career, and not having the same type of help he is used to having. The Clippers don’t have the same appeal as the Lakers, but you could play in Los Angeles in a brand new stadium with a chance to make it deep into the playoffs every year.
Image: Davis shoots over Harrell at game in Los Angeles vs Clippers
CONS: The Clippers have not been a great destination for free agents. Most people think of them as “The other LA team” and they have had a history of not making it past the Western Conference Semifinals. While the Clippers are a solid team there is no guarantee that they would be able to land a 2nd superstar to play alongside Davis. The Clippers would also lose all their current stars and basically be willing to rebuild around Davis if they make the trade.
They would not be able to contend at all this season and would have to wait till 2019 to truly begin to rebuild. The Clippers are currently the eight seed in the West and if they make this trade I don’t believe they would have enough to get into the playoffs in a stacked western conference. Davis would have to be on board with the possible rebuild and be willing to sign long term with the Clippers in order for this to work out.
Image: Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, and Jerome Robinson during a timeout of a game at staples center
Do you agree with my picks? Where do you think AD will end up? Comment below and let me know where you think AD will go, and as always thanks for reading!