“I’d take legacy over money. I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD’s legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me.” That was what Davis told yahoo sports back in December.
Fast forward to the last Monday in January. We all woke up, checked our phones and were surprised with the news we all knew would come. Davis wants out.
Adrian Wojnarowski reported on twitter that “Agent Rich Paul has notified the New Orleans Pelicans that All-NBA forward Anthony Davis has no intention of signing a contract extension if and when presented and that he has requested a trade.” He went on to say that “Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”
All this coming just days after the NBA All-Star starters were announced. Starters are selected based on the fan vote, which Anthony Davis failed to capture. It seems as if NOLA should have had a city wide campaign telling everybody to vote daily for their one bright spot. In what felt like New Orleans' last chance to show the big man that they wanted to keep him, the city again failed him.
Now the chaos has begun. We will now spend every available moment of our lives talking about potential destinations until Davis finds a landing spot. But what is a realistic trade package? Who could win the sweepstakes to land one of the NBA’s most talented superstars? Let’s take a look at a few.
LeBron’s new team seems to be the team most frequently involved in trade
discussions among fans and media in regards to Davis. We know that Anthony Davis recently signed with LeBron’s agent and childhood friend, Rich Paul. Just five weeks ago LeBron and AD wen’t out to dinner together where we can assume that the seed was planted to join forces and attempt to take down the powerhouse Warriors while basking in the LA sun.
LeBron offers so much to the 25 year old star. Championship opportunities? LeBron has been to 8 straight finals. Helping the community? LeBron started the I Promise School, called for social justice on the ESPYs, and spent every second of the last 16 years furthering others. It seems like the two would be a perfect match and could mutually help each other in their own quests.
Los Angelas is currently 2 games out of the 8th seed in the Western Conference and have been riddled with injuries including LeBron, Rondo, and Lonzo. This team is barely floating above .500 and could use a shot in the arm before fans start calling for Coach Walton to be fired. Now is the time to act.
The Lakers offer:
I would assume there would have to be some draft compensation sent to the Pelicans as well, especially if Lonzo wouldn’t be moving but I believe that the Lakers would want to keep one of their four young prospects. I do worry that the Pelicans would not want to do business with the Lakers because they find them somewhat responsible for the situation and as a small market team don’t want to make the rich richer.
Back in 2011 the NBA introduced a new rule know as the Rose Rule based off of Derrick Rose. The basis of the rose rule is that a player finishing up his rookie contract could make 30% of a teams salary cap instead of 25% if that player had been a two time All-Star starter, two time All-NBA, or won the MVP award. You were only allowed to have one player on the Rose Rule contract at a time. Both Kyrie and Davis were given these extensions preventing the Celtics from acquiring AD on a team that has Kyrie in their current contract situations. They can wait until the offseason when Kyrie signs a new deal or move Kyrie.
This puts the Celtics in a terrible spot, where they have to sit back and watch all the teams bid for their most coveted player, all while knowing they have the most assets.
We had Nicole Yang of the Boston Globe on our podcast this October and told us that her sources tell her that “Anthony Davis is the player the Celtics would put everything on the table for. Kawhi wasn’t that player, Durant wasn’t that player but they would go all in for Davis. Some of the pieces that were off the table for the Kawhi deal would be on table for Davis.”
Boston has more the best chance to dump their assets on AD in the offseason if he is still available, but at this time they don’t have an offer to make.
Philadelphia is in the most confusing spot of all these teams. They are young but now that they have Jimmy Butler seem to be in a win now mode. They have three stars on their team in Embiid, Butler, and Simmons, but the pieces don’t gel together great. We have seen it with the Timberwolves and with the Thunder in the last few seasons; having a “big 3” doesn't mean your team will have success.
For Philly, they might go all in and try and move one of their big 3 in what would be a blockbuster trade. I believe that Simmons would be the one to be moved due to how he fits with the team. We know that Simmons is incredibly athletic and an impressive passer, but seems to provide zero spacing with his team. And that’s not all Philly could offer:
They could move the #1 from the draft just a year ago, as well as $12.8 million in cap relief with Wilson Chandler’s expiring contract. If Fultz and Simmons reach 80% of their potential when drafted, they will both go on to be all-stars. This move would be extremely risky for both sides. With Philly, they don’t know if they are going to have Davis resign, and Butler might not resign either. That would mean they lost Simmons, Fultz, Covington, and Saric for nothing. I can imagine the riots in Philadelphia if that played out. As for New Orleans, we haven’t seen Fultz since November 11th last year and he has still only played in a total of 33 games before being diagnosed with Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
This deal would be a swinging for the fences and I don’t know if the 76ers new GM wants to take such a risk so early in his career.
This could be the change the Knicks have been looking for the last few decades. The Knicks have been associated with another superstar in Kevin Durant as a potential landing spot. Playing in MSG and joining a team with a ton of cap space can be very enticing for an star. The Knicks could build around Durant based on what he wants and have enough cap space to potential add a second superstar.
Enter AD. The idea of this is just as exciting as LeBron and AD playing in Staples Center in the yellow and gold. I believe Davis knows that any team that has Durant has a chance to win a title, seeing as KD is the 2x reigning finals MVP. It would cost the future of the Knicks but the Knicks would have to recognize the future is now. Besides, the fans boo them no matter who they pick in the draft. Let them Cheer for a combo of Durant and AD under the bright lights. Here’s how it gets done:
Brian Windhorst reported that the Knicks would be “In the game” for AD if they include their 2019 first round pick in the offer. That pick has real potential to be the next big thing like Zion Williamson. The thought of this might be enough for the Pelicans to let Anthony head north to the New York Knickerbockers.
At the end of the day Anthony Davis can say weather or not he is willing to resign with a team, giving him even more control of his landing spot. We’re curious, where do you think Anthony Davis will land? Tweet at us @48minutesntwrk and let us know!
Make sure to check out Kyle, our Director of NBA Content, on twitter @Goodluckkyle and every Monday on the 48 Minutes Network Podcast.