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NBA Trade Scenario: Save Anthony Davis, the Pelicans blow up their entire roster

From Behind the Bar: Open Trade Season Part 4

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This one goes out to the, "Let’s blow the whole thing up" crowd. If you love expiring contracts and clearing payroll then this trade is for you.

BDDD, I cried a little when I imaginarily sent Tyreke away, but I’m hoping he’d be loved in Milwaukee like he’s loved in my living room — also, I have League Pass so....

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Note: The Pelicans receive the bucks 2016 1st round pick and the Clippers 2017 1st round pick from the Bucks. The Pels also get the Thunder’s 2017 1st round pick and the Hornets 2nd round pick from the Thunder. This trade is also followed up with a second trade with the Rockets.

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Why the Pelicans do it:

New Orleans decides it is time to throw the season away, clear the roster for reshaping by perhaps a new general manager. They move their two big expiring deals, but also dump another $27.6 million in contracts. Unfortunately, they still have to hold onto Omer Asik’s contract. The Pelicans receive 3 first round picks — though at minimum two should be non-lottery selections if not all 3 — and a 2nd rounder to use to add players either through the draft or future trades.

The front office also brings in the non-guaranteed 2nd year of Ty Lawson’s contract, which may come in handy in a future trade. At worst, it made the Eric Gordon for K.J. McDaniels (whom I really covet) move work salary-wise. New Orleans also fields a pretty bad team to improve the chances to draft Ben Simmons.

When examining the expiring contracts the Pelicans would acquire, only one of those players should even be considered as a potential long term piece — O.J. Mayo. O.J. had a sneaky decent year last season. Had he not been injured to start this season, the Bucks would be in better shape than they currently are. He’s an above average 3pt shooter, and he is also a decent distributor from the 2 spot. (I thought he would have been a much better addition to the Thunder than Dion Waiters was when that trade went down.) Being the 4th option on a good team is really the perfect scenario for Mayo. If the Pelicans could re-sign him to a cap-friendly deal at season’s end, he could be an interesting piece in the new roster construction.

No one else is really worth keeping around. The only other guy worth considering is Miles Plumlee on a deal close to what he makes now which would look very good in the new CBA.

Why the Thunder do it:

The Thunder don’t have to give up much to get a much better backcourt player than they’ve been fielding next to Russell Westbrook. Jrue Holiday could either be the starting off guard — providing perimeter defense, secondary playmaking and efficient scoring without the need to be a high usage guy, or he could fill the James Harden role and be that second unit leader while playing starter’s minutes.

Oklahoma City also gets added perimeter defense on a cheap contract for when Kevin Durant moves to the four with the Dante Cunningham acquisition. Or, worse, the Thunder start preparing for a potential Durant departure during free agency in the near future.

Why the Bucks do it:

The Bucks need scoring to get them back into the playoff push. Tyreke Evans doesn’t necessarily give them better shooting, but he does give them scoring, rebounding and playmaking. At 6’-6" with a nice handle, Tyreke also gives the Bucks the positional flexibility they love — allowing him to play 1-3.

Ryan Anderson does give Milwaukee the shooting they need to open up the floor. Quincy Pondexter when healthy also provides positional flexibility, shooting and defense. The Bucks lost Greivis Vasquez to injury and now to trade (also, Bayless) so between Evans and Augustin they add solid players to the point rotation.

Why the Rockets do it:

McDaniels isn’t being used anyway, and he’s on a 3-year, $3 million deal. The Rockets love to make plays for free agents each offseason, so moving on from any expendable contracts is a plus. The Lawson experiment has been a bust. They can use him to land a bigger fish, but I’m not sure anyone is selling a player they want to buy with that contract.

With this move, Houston gets a decent backcourt player in return who will not saddle them with a large contract to impede the free agent spending spree this coming offseason. Gordon can be a solid catch-and-shoot player on a team that loves taking threes. He could play alongside James Harden whose penetration will set up a lot of good looks for Eric. Gordon can also create when Harden is getting a breather.