The trade deadline is upon us. Our staff gathered round to discuss the mounting pressure (from the Los Angeles Lakers and Klutch Sports) to move Anthony Davis at the deadline, other possible trades, and goals for the remainder of the season.
Should the Pelicans feel pressured to make a deal for Anthony Davis by the trade deadline?
Preston: Absolutely not.
Sure, waiting comes with risks. Kyrie Irving could choose the Lakers this summer or Jayson Tatum could sustain a significant injury. Kevin Durant could choose to re-sign with Golden State, and Kawhi Leonard could travel to the Clippers, minimizing outstanding buyers to LAL, DEN, LAC and possibly Philadelphia. That’s probably the worst-case scenario.
The Pelicans can play it safe and get a pretty decent haul now. But if they’re patient, they can get a franchise-altering one. Should Kyrie choose one of Boston or New York, the Pelicans will get a significantly better haul than the one available now. Plus, the Lakers’ deal will still be available to them this summer. There will still be bidders willing to drive up the price.
Kevin: Definitely not. Nearly everything that is being offered right now will be there in the summer and Boston will be added to that mix. The only moves that likely need to happen this year are Brooklyn, Toronto and Milwaukee, and those are all dark horse contenders.
D’Angelo Russell is the prize from Brooklyn, but will enter RFA this summer. I’d really like to see a Pelicans team built around a Jrue Holiday and DLO backcourt, but it’s likely not a leader in the arms race unless they find other ways to sweeten the pot — though I value DeAngelo enough to take a slightly tweaked version of the package that is rumored to have been offered. However, with RFA looming it’s a deal that works best before the summer, but could still work next season once the Nets sign him to a new contract and he becomes trade eligible.
Toronto is in a race to convince Kawhi Leonard to stay north. While Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby are quality players, both would still be available this summer and likely don’t compete with Boston or New York’s packages, but getting Davis early may be the smartest move for the Raptors so a major offer at the deadline could be coming.
Milwaukee really only has two players you should lust over (and their pick situation isn’t great) — Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon — and they both hit free agency in the summer, making that deal very unlikely anyway. However, it is one of the only ones that would have to happen at the deadline if it is going to happen.
The Pelicans are in the driver’s seat no matter what the Lakers publicity agents on social media are trying to tell us and New Orleans should use all of their leverage.
Charlie: Not in the slightest. The only pressure being generated is by Klutch Sports, whose incentive seems directly in line with LeBron James and not even Anthony Davis. Davis’s best situation going forward is quite probably not in Los Angeles for a variety of reasons, so assisting in helping LeBron end his career in L.A. with a potential championship or two is no by any means the Pels #1 priority.
Travis: Absolutely not! Do what is best for this organization, not what is best for AD, the Lakers, the memory of Jerry Buss or anyone else. That has got to mean finding out who lands the #1 overall draft pick this summer, and allowing Boston to do whatever it is they’re gonna do.
Mike: No! They should not. By all indications, the only pressure for a move that soon is being applied by Klutch Sports Group, and the Pelicans appear willing to take their time.
David Grubb: There is no reason for the Pelicans to feel pressured to make a deal prior to Feb. 7. Davis is under contract for the remainder of this season and the next. There are just too many variables in play for the Pelicans to take what may not be the best possible offer for Davis. If a great deal comes along, then so be it. However, the price for Davis won’t change between now and July 1.
David Fisher: Nothing about the trade deadline changes the best offer we expect to see for Anthony Davis. Boston lurks as the biggest potential spender and dealing before they can get into the game only seems to drive down the potential return. Furthermore, whomever deals Anthony Davis might not be in the organization yet and there isn’t enough time to get that person on board to make this decision. Wait until after the lottery at the earliest.
Oleh: Absolutely not, and it’s incredible how throngs of fans have been duped by certain media outlets into thinking the Pelicans have to do anything before this week’s trade deadline. In just the last couple of days, I’ve read all sorts of garbage, from the L.A. Times printing that the Knicks are out of the running due to the Kristaps Porzingis trade to an article on the Silver Screen and Roll blog opining that the “Lakers have the Pelicans where they want them.” But this took the cake:
Boston stepping back would be a massive blow to the New Orleans Pelicans’ leverage, and with each development, it would seem more and more likely by the hour that they’re forced to either take a lesser deal out of spite, ship Davis to the Lakers, or run the serious risk of losing him for nothing.
I would laugh hysterically if it wasn’t so sad.
With Anthony Davis under contract through the 2019-20 season, New Orleans is under no pressure to make a move now, and considering the best offers are assured to be on the table this summer...come on guys, this isn’t hard!