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 Forest University big man, Tim Duncan, providing David Stern and the rest of the NBA with the most devastating 4-5 tandem in the league.
However, according to a report from noted news breaker Shams Charania, AD still wants out.
But national reporters have hardly covered the Pelicans with any form of constitution or integrity in the past six months. So, Mrs. Benson had to shut those clowns down:
Per the “over my dead body” reports out there regarding Gayle Benson, the Lakers and Anthony Davis.— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) May 17, 2019
I have spoken to Gayle.
She laughed at the report and called it “totally absurd,” and “completely untrue.”@wdsu @basketballtalk @Rachel__Nichols pic.twitter.com/IXE2ck1VNv
So, on we forge! Do the Pelicans dare go back to the table with Lakers general manager, Rob Pelinka?
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 regardless of past (mis) dealings.
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.
Trade number one:
Phoenix gets their point guard!
Many will be hesitant to base a compromise around Brandon Ingram (given his recent health concerns) and two top-ten picks in a draft where Jonathan Wasserman has picks four through eleven ranked pretty evenly.
However, the upside is there on Brandon Ingram when healthy. Ingram put in a preposterous 27.8 points per game on 57% shooting, 53% from three in six games after the All-Star break. He also contributed 7.5 rebounds per game before getting shut down for the remainder of the season. A small sample size, but an indicator of just how effective Ingram can be when healthy and properly utilized.
Now if history remains consistent, Lonzo Ball has little to no interest playing in New Orleans, so the Lakers will have to get creative in how they make up for the lack of trade capital given the nature of this unprofessional behavior. Like Griffin said he will ask of Davis,” He has to be all in.”
Sources: Should Lakers/Pelicans trade talks pick up, point guard Lonzo Ball's camp prefers Ball to be moved to a third team that doesn't have an established point guard.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 29, 2019
The Lakers will need to deal Lonzo to Phoenix in exchange for their sixth overall selection. Lonzo is still held in high regard around the association and should complement Devin Booker perfectly.
The Pelicans then add Jarrett Culver and De’Andre Hunter to Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, forming an opening day lineup of Jrue - Culver - Hunter - Ingram - Zion, with a bench reinforced by Payton, Jackson, Moore, Kenrich, Kuzma, Diallo and Okafor.
Trade number two:
Chicago jumps into the action!
It’s been well documented at this point just how high I am on this deal given its viability. There have already been numerous reports as to the Bulls’ interest in Ball, especially given their unfortunate plunge down the draft order.
The framework of the deal is one and the same with just one difference. The Bulls add former Pelican ten-day contract, Wayne Selden, to the deal. With just $1.5 million guaranteed before his restricted free agency, Selden is worth the look and can give the Pelicans a physical guard with size who can effectively attack closeouts and defend positions 1-3. At just 24 years of age, there is still room for Selden to become an effective rotation player going forward.
So, how did I do?!
Which of these deals do you prefer? Probably the Suns package unless you’re high on Selden, but among our previous packages, how does this one rank? Is there a package you’d prefer from the Lakers? Comment below!
Let’s geaux, Pels!