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2019 NBA Trade Deadline: List of favorite trade returns for Anthony Davis

Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum and a surprise player feature as headliners.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

What is your preferred Anthony Davis trade return?

Preston: New York carries my favorite option with a package geared around Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Lance Thomas and either the rights to Zion Williamson or this year’s first and a future first (DAL unprotected 2021).

Should Kyrie Irving choose Boston this summer, I’d prefer a package around Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Memphis Grizzlies first round pick, Los Angeles Clippers first round pick and a future first.

Kevin: I’m intrigued by several packages. I don’t like the Lakers offer at the moment, but it could get better. If Lonzo Ball continues to channel his inner Eric Gordon, perhaps the Pels get the Suns involved and get some young wing help — TJ Warren, Josh Jackson, Kelly Oubre Jr. or Mikal Bridges for Ball — then with picks and prospects like Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma it isn’t the worst that could happen. Still, it is one of my least favorite returns, not even factoring the bad taste of the cloak and dagger tampering machine in my mouth.

Boston is obviously a nice package because you get at least one very good wing prospect with Jayson Tatum, but probably also get Jaylen Brown and a bunch of nice draft capital. The Pelicans haven’t had wing talent like that in a lifetime so it is something to be excited about. With the Knicks offer, there’s also a lot to like — your pick of young PGs — Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina plus a wing like Kevin Knox and a hometown hero, Mitchell Robinson plus some great draft picks — perhaps even Zion (and I think NY is the only team that would move Zion). The added bonus of taking the NY deal is that you also screw over the Celtics and Lakers who have been yammering for Davis and slandering the New Orleans organization for years.

However, from an abstract view, what I want is an identity, an alpha dog leader, to be young and competitive immediately and versatile defensively. This has me constantly circling back to Brooklyn. I love D’Angelo Russell — he’s matured into a solid leader, his game has evolved to where he can score at every level, he creates for others and he would bring incredible swagger to the court. The thing about Russell is that he’s an All-Star talent now, he has size and he’s still incredibly young. He’s currently as old as Damian Lillard was when he was drafted. DLO is great now and likely still has room to grow (mainly on the defensive end). The Pelicans can shift from being a team built around bigs to a team built around a dynamic and rather large backcourt. They’d also get 20-year-old Jarrett Allen, whose highlights make him seem like a better defender than he actually is at this point, but he’s definitely a rim protector that changes shots now; hopefully he grows into some more versatility.

As the deal is currently structured, the Pelicans would have to take on Allen Crabbe’s $18.5M salary next season, but he could easily be swapped for Kent Bazemore with some draft capital forming a very enticing 3 guard lineup. The Nets are also said to be offering a pick swap in 2019 and a 1st in 2020. I think this is where the deal needs to improve. There needs to be either an additional 1st or another player along with Rodions Kurucs who is also currently included. If the Pelicans get an additional pick or Caris LeVert added to the deal, it’s my top option as it gives me youth, identity, future picks and the ability to win now with a style of play and marketable star that should attract fans.

Charlie: As it stands it’s difficult to be specific because the lottery results will ultimately determine the best possible package. If the lottery held to form as is, I’ve held firm for some time now that I would strongly prefer the Knicks youth package headlined by future #1 pick Zion Williamson, newly acquired guard Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and an assortment of other picks including Cleveland’s ‘19 2nd Rounder and the Dallas unprotected ‘21 1st rounder received in the Kristaps Porzingis trade last week.

Travis: Everything! I actually prefer, as my centerpiece, a good player who helps now. Not that I’m afraid of tanking, but... okay: I’m afraid of tanking. So I’d like to get a “young vet” (sorry!) PLUS draft picks and help escaping from our worst contract or two.

Mike: Should the New York Knicks receive the first overall pick, getting back that pick to turn into Zion Williamson in addition to a pair of Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr., and two future first round picks, which New York may now be more inclined to give since Dallas provided extras for 2021 and 2023. No potential asset would be as fun as Zion, and though those three young players probably wish their careers would have gotten off to hotter starts, they are all so young (Smith Jr. is the oldest, having just turned 21 in November) and physically gifted that a reset could be just what they need to establish themselves.

David Grubb: Without being specific to a particular team, the Pelicans need to get at least two starters (one with star potential), one contributor and multiple first round draft choices.

David Fisher: Learning from prior mistakes organizationally needs to be at the top of the list before even getting to the return for the trade. After that should the Knicks win the lottery I think Zion Williamson has to be at the top of the list. Even if the rest of the package leaves something to be desired compared to what Boston or the Lakers are offering come May and June.

Oleh Kosel: If they manage to win the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, my preferred return would come via the New York Knicks and the centerpiece would be obvious: Zion Williamson. While Jrue Holiday makes for a solid player to build around, his ceiling -- if there is any growth left -- doesn’t ooze top 5 or even top 10 potential. Williamson’s does and no other return is going to net the Pelicans such a possible no-brainer franchise piece. In addition to the phenom out of Duke, I would ask the Knicks throw in Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr, and another future first rounder.