Anthony Davis still wants out of New Orleans, according to a recent report from Shams Charania.
But how much can the Pelicans get for the expiring year of Davis is hot topic around the association. What was once promised to be a blockbuster offer from the Boston Celtics highlighted by Jayson Tatum has disintegrated due to Kyrie Irving’s behavior and upcoming free agency, according to Steve Kyler.
The Pelicans have also damaged their relationship with the Los Angeles Lakers due to some of the combined actions of Magic Johnson, Rich Paul and even Dell Demps. While Gayle Benson thrashed any notion that the Pelicans would refuse a deal from the Jeanie Buss-led organization, Andrew Lopez confirmed the Lakers could be forced to “pay a tax.” That could become problematic if the Lakers are in fact able to find talent elsewhere (unlikely, but hey, ya never know!).
There is no telling just how committed other organizations are to acquiring Davis outside of these two. The Knicks are said to want Davis to pair with Durant and/or Kyrie, but they’d have to be damn sure they’d be able to land either one first and we have as of yet no indication that they have that confidence. After moving on from Kristaps Porzingis, they certainly don’t resemble a team looking to “win-now.”
With developmental talent aplenty as well as a top-3 pick and endless gobs of cap space, why would any smart team “blow it up” without assurances?
The Clippers have a solid young core that played terrific basketball in 2019 and have the requisite space necessary to acquire their own superstar for free like the rumored Kawhi Leonard.
So, why should they break up everything over one year of Davis?
Bottom line, it’s in the best interests of both the opposing partner as well as the Pelicans for Davis to agree to an immediate extension upon being traded. That will both instill confidence in the landing spot organization as well as give the Pelicans the best chance at a war chest of assets.
That’s why these meetings with David Griffin are so vital to the Pelicans long term success.
Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report has the specifics on what that deal just might be and how it would be executed:
Davis can earn roughly $105.3 million in a three-year extension, starting at $32.5 million (that’s after six months, presuming he waives his trade bonus), or he can wait until next summer and re-sign as a free agent at $112.8 million ($34.8 million in the first year). In both cases, he’s still at $27.1 million for the upcoming season.
Another path would be accepting his trade bonus, which would push his current salary to $31.2 million, after which he can extend at the same $112.8 million he’ll be eligible to receive in free agency next summer, for a total of $116.8 million.
Yet another option would be a renegotiation and extension, which could bump his salary for the coming 2019-20 to the maximum of $32.7 million. If he waives his trade kicker, the team would need to have $5.6 million in cap space in December, six months after a deal in July—that’s problematic for a contending team trying to flesh its roster.
The most lucrative path for Davis is to accept his trade bonus, then get an additional raise of $1.5 million, via a renegotiation and extension. The team must have the necessary cap space, but wouldn’t have to wait until December.
Whatever the path, a renegotiation could add on another three years in the $111.2 million range (again, assuming a player option on the final season for the summer of 2022). That’s a total of $116.9 million with his 2019-20 increase in salary, but it could climb even higher if the NBA’s salary cap beats projections for the next two seasons.
For more on your Pelicans be sure to check out our most recent series on AD Trade Packages and Landing Spots as well as our podcast with Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler breaking down the frontrunners for AD’s services!
Let’s geaux, Pels!