Patience could certainly prove to be a virtue for the New Orleans Pelicans.
In a report this morning from radio talk show host, John Gambadoro (98.7 Phoenix), the Boston Celtics are preparing to offer up the Pelicans’ desired prize (Tatum), while adding a significant amount of goodies with him.
Latest offer to Pelicans from Lakers is Ingram, Ball, Kuzma, Zubac, Hart and two first round draft picks. A Boston deal in offseason is expected to look like this - Tatum, Smart, Williams, Horford and up to 3 first round picks.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) February 7, 2019
Now, before you dismiss any nuggets dropped by a radio host living in the Arizona market, remember that this is the same man who dropped Rajon Rondo’s offseason salary demands, as well as put a halt to the three-way exchange between Phoenix, Memphis and Washington earlier this season.
Pelicans nation is understandably jubilant at the news of receiving such a treasure trove, and even the New Orleans Pelicans social media handle is having a bit of fun with the speculation leading up to the trade deadline.
⏳— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 7, 2019
In the proposed deal, the Celtics offload nearly $52.5 million in salary, meaning the Pelicans may need to get participation from a third team, and will need to include Solomon Hill (and E’Twaun Moore?) in any said deal to match incoming salary.
The Pelicans’ backcourt would appear to be set with Marcus Smart alongside Jrue Holiday. Smart still carries an additional three years, $40.3 million on his deal while Jayson Tatum has an additional two years, $17.7 million before hitting the summer of his restricted free agency.
Al Horford has a player option with just one year and $30.1 million remaining. He’s expected to exercise that option, but should he refuse to join the Pelicans and exercise his right to be an unrestricted free agent, the Celtics may need to find a substitute in the deal. It shouldn’t be difficult though as Tatum, Smart and Williams’ deals facilitate enough salary for a straight up swap with AD on their own. Additional picks or players (Brown, Rozier, Ojeleye) could seal the deal quite easily.
It’s looking less and less likely that the Pelicans and Lakers will engage in talks leading up to the deadline. The Lakers seem content to push the narrative that the Pelicans weren’t negotiating in “good faith” once the Pelicans rejected the Lakers ‘godfather’ offer and responded by asking for four first and second round picks.
The Lakers called the counter ‘outrageous’ and the two sides have failed to communicate since.
Lakers pull out of Anthony Davis trade talks amid 'outrageous' requests by Pelicans https://t.co/VpB2P0pGa6— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) February 5, 2019
This offer appears a slam dunk for the Pelicans and their future, but in the interim could create a bit of friction between the front office and their superstar, who might be asked to sit awhile longer in limbo.
Anthony Davis has been cleared by doctors to play, and yet how can the Pelicans risk losing Danny Ainge’s reported offer?
The Pelicans elected to sit Anthony Davis last night against the Bulls, pointing to the trade deadline, but with 27 games remaining on the schedule after today, could face a difficult proposition should Adam Silver and the NBA Players Union seek to involve themselves.
The Pelicans are preventing Anthony Davis from making a return to their lineup, and Davis reportedly might file a grievance if the Pelicans don’t trade him and still don’t play him after the deadline. https://t.co/Anb43kAKwp pic.twitter.com/sJC5ISTr9q— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) February 7, 2019
The situation may get worse before it gets better, and in the interim, the Pelicans will have to listen to remarks about this scenario being yet another black eye on an organization forced to deal two franchise players seven seasons apart. However, as they’ve proven since Davis first made his trade request public, expect the New Orleans Pelicans to remain unwavering in their stance and seeing this ordeal through to the summer.
So go ahead, Pels’ fans! Dream big!
And get your popcorn ready.