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Clippers reportedly a sleeper in Anthony Davis trade talks

Vincent Frank
Most points NBA game, Anthony Davis
Jan 2, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) drives to the basket during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Even as first-year general manager David Griffin looks to smooth things over with star Anthony Davis, the big man still wants to bolt from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Having requested a trade back in January, the hope in New Orleans was that a new regime would change Davis’ mind. It hasn’t.

Now, with less than a month to go before the 2019 NBA Draft, it’s looking like Davis will be traded here soon.

If so, the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as a sleeper for the All-Star’s services.

“If you’re looking for a sleeper team, it’s not the Raptors, it’s L.A., not the Lakers, it’s the Clippers. Now, the Clippers have grand plans. They’re trying to get Kawhi and they’re trying to get Kevin Durant,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported (h/t Bleacher Report). “And if they fail in that pursuit, they have extra first-round picks because of the Tobias Harris trade.”

In terms of draft pick assets, the Clippers might have what it takes to acquire Davis. Teams can’t move first-round picks in consecutive years unless they have already acquired other first-round picks.

As Windhorst notes, Los Angeles picked up the Philadelphia 76ers first-round pick in the Tobias Harris trade last season. This means the team could move first-round picks in 2019 and 2020 while adding a 2022 first-round selection to the pot.

Already favored to land Kawhi Leonard in free agency, the Clippers are expected to be big time players once July comes calling. If they were to somehow add Anthony Davis before then, this would be magnified even further.

In addition to those valuable picks, the Clippers have a ton of young assets to entice New Orleans. That list includes guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet as well as forward Montrezl Harrell.