A frontcourt pairing of Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson should be seen as the future of the NBA. It shares remnants of the 1997 draft when then 31-year old David Robinson was given second life with the lottery score of Wake University big man Tim Duncan, providing David Stern and the rest of the NBA with the most devastating 4-5 tandem in the league.
Unfortunately for Pelicans’ fans, the Brow doesn’t see it that way. According to a report from Shams Charania, he still wants out.
The New Orleans Pelicans are now set up to be Zion Williamson’s franchise to lift, and No. 1 pick could ease potential trade of Anthony Davis. His stance on a trade has not changed, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
So, on we forge! It’s up to executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin, to score a deal that will both coincide with 28-year-old Jrue Holiday and 18-year-old Zion Williamson’s like-mindedness.
A combination of elite, young prospects coupled with savvy veterans is precisely what the doctor has ordered for the Pelicans. And we’ll work together to weigh the best possible scenarios for the former MVP and DPOY finalist.
David Fisher earns the Pelicans an All-Star backcourt partner for their incumbent one as well as a sharpshooting gunner off the bench to give the Pels’ a devastating deep game along with E’Twaun Moore. Allen Crabbe gives the Pelicans a far more useful expiring contract than the one in Solomon Hill (though at some cost), and the Pelicans take in Brooklyn’s 17th overall pick in 2019 and unprotected 2021 pick — which could be delicious should AD walk in the summer of 2020.
Many would hope for a greater return than this. D’Angelo Russell is the big chip in this deal, but it will come at considerable cost as he will likely seek the full max and four-year extension. Harris is an underrated player on a quality contract but has just one year remaining at $7.7 million. Let’s try to do better.
Difficult I know given DeAngelo's contract stuff, but S&T DLo for about $17 mill, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, their 2 1sts, and the Knicks 2nd.— Andy Russell (@Andy_Russell87) May 15, 2019
LeVert AND Allen is too rich a price but adding one to this mix should make this deal much more appetizing.
So, round it out.
Pelicans get - D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen and two firsts
Brooklyn gets - Anthony Davis
Should the Based Year Compensation rule apply in this instance, Allen Crabbe can be added to make the math work.
Brooklyn now trots out Dinwiddie (Kyrie) - Harris - LeVert - Carroll - AD and likely only commits to this deal if they can acquire Kyrie Irving in free agency.
My concern in this transaction is the additional years of Norman Powell’s deal. Powell has plenty of athleticism and determination on the court but found himself warming the bench over much of the season following a six-week shoulder injury. A 41% three-point shooter should earn himself more than 14 minutes per game.
Instead, he was passed by OG Anunoby, who is a versatile defender more than capable of defending positions 1-3 and shows plenty of promise on that end, but similarly, he made the Raptors 10 points worse per-100.
Siakam is the prize in this deal, but is he coupled with future picks that Griffin may not even be able to utilize during his tenure?
Toronto Siakam, O.G, 2 1st round picks, 3 future pick swaps and Ibaka for A.D, 2 2nd round picks— Daniel Harris (@NOP48DH) May 15, 2019
Ibaka costs considerably more in the immediacy ($23 million), but he’s an expiring veteran who can slide into AD’s place alongside Zion and serve as a solid mentor for the 18-year old. Siakam becomes Zion’s long term partner though and he makes the perfect complement. Adding both Siakam and Ibaka gives you the option of bringing along Zion a little more slowly if necessary in the first month or two of the season.
You remove three years of Powell from your books and still bring in the prized Siakam with Anunoby. The pick swaps are probably a bit rich, but asking the 2020 first and one future pick swap (2022) at minimum seals this deal. Should the Raptors prefer Ibaka to Gasol given the twos’ respective ages (29 and 34), Gasol and his $25.5 million player option can take Ibaka’s place and serve the same purpose.
Toronto then trots out a lineup of Lowry - Green - Kawhi - AD - Ibaka once Leonard is re-signed. It’s an aged group for sure, but putting AD alongside Kawhi gives the group the foundations of the best two-man punch in the NBA.
So, how did I do?
We’ll be back with potential deals from the Lakers, Knicks, Celtics and Clippers but in this scenario I believe the Pelicans’ front office would prefer the Raptors deal. A backcourt player of Russell’s ilk is easier to come by then one of Siakam’s skill set and while Russell would make the perfect complement to Holiday, he’d come at a rich cost.