Would the New Orleans Pelicans trade superstar forward Anthony Davis? A report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN says no, although teams are certainly more than a bit interested.
“Davis remains an obsession of several NBA teams full of the necessary trade assets to unfasten him from New Orleans, should the Pelicans ever consider a rebuild — or should Davis ever request a trade,” Wojnarowski reported. “Boston has remained vigilant on the possibility of acquiring Davis, and Davis knows it. However, the Pelicans have no intention of trading an all-world talent under contract through 2021, no matter the return.”
It’s certainly easy to see why Davis is a hot commodity. While he’s in his sixth NBA season, Davis won’t even turn 25 until March. He’s averaging 25.2 points and 10.6 rebounds a game. Davis is also shooting at 56.9% from the field, 79.7% from the free throw line, and has even added range with a career high 34.9% on threes. While they’d have to give a lot to get him, adding Davis to an already loaded team like the Boston Celtics is a scary idea.
Given Davis’ skill, age, and that he’s under contract for three more years, it’s understandable that teams want him. He can make a good team a title contender. He can make a title contender (like Boston) a title favorite.
It’s also understandable that the Pelicans would be relatively unwilling to trade him. That said, we wonder if not trading Davis “no matter the return” is really the right idea.
New Orleans certainly shouldn’t be looking to give Davis away. But good as he is, the Pelicans have only made the playoffs once in his career. That resulted in a four-game sweep. New Orleans is presently in playoff position. But with teams like the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, and the ever-present San Antonio Spurs atop the Western Conference, the Pelicans are a long way from being one of the best.
Trading a star in the NBA is always tricky. The trades have historically benefited the team landing the star more than the one giving up numerous assets. But given that New Orleans’ ceiling with Davis has been low, we have to wonder how long it will be before the organization thinks about going in another direction.