Anthony Davis put the rest of the league on notice when he and his agent informed the New Orleans Pelicans that Davis would like to be traded. Davis made it clear that he would not re-sign with the Pelicans this summer and would prefer to be moved to another team for the second act of his career.
Shockwaves were sent across the NBA on Monday morning as Adrian Wojnarowski put everyone on notice as only he can do by breaking the news of Anthony Davis’ trade request.
Anthony Davis and his agent Rich Paul have informed the New Orleans Pelicans that Davis does not intend to sign the super max extension that the Pelicans can off him this off season, and AD would like to be traded to start the second act of his career.
The San Antonio Spurs, along with every other team in the league, will have to carefully evaluate their assets and situation to see if they can land the 25 year old MVP candidate.
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, Paul told ESPN on Monday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
Rich Paul to ESPN on a preferred destination for Anthony Davis: "Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
AD’s move will be one of the most impactful transactions in the NBA.
You’d have to go back to when the Milwaukee Bucks traded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers back in 1975 or LeBron‘s infamous “Decision” debacle to find a deal of this magnitude. This trade, if it does happen, will alter the landscape of the NBA in a way that many fans haven’t seen before.
This year’s trade deadline was shaping up to be fairly low key. This breaking news provided an instant 180 degree shift from that.
An Anthony Davis trade before the February 7th deadline could set off a ripple effect across the league that has other teams scrambling to realign their teams in the new NBA.
The most talked about candidates to land Davis are the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
Boston is currently handcuffed by a league rule that prohibits teams from having two players on the designated rookie exception on the roster together at the same time. That means that to acquire AD before the February 7th deadline the Celtics would have to move Kyrie Irving.
Is that something that they would be willing to do?
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Kyrie has certainly ruffled feathers in his time in Boston.
He missed 22 games last season due to injury and has struggled to pull together all of Boston’s talented players to form a cohesive unit this year. He even went so far as to call out Boston’s younger players in talks with the media earlier this season.
Irving has expressed his desire to re-sign with the Celtics, but that could change at any moment. Until he signs a contract it’s just talk.
Boston does have a pair of guards who could fill in for Kyrie.
Who’s to say that with Davis on the team they couldn’t carry the Celtics even further? If Boston were to include Kyrie in a trade for Davis, what would New Orleans do with Jrue Holiday?
The other prime candidate to acquire Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers, would almost certainly have to include Lonzo Ball in any deal that sends Davis to L.A.
Of the Lakers’ five best young players: Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubc, and Josh Hart, three would probably have to head to New Orleans. Ball is almost a lock to be included in any potential deal.
Once again, New Orleans would have to decide if they want to keep Holiday. Would they try and play him with Ball or move him and start a full rebuild?
If New Orleans does decide to move Davis before the trade deadline will they try acquire a star in return or a collection of young players and draft picks? If they choose to go with door number two would they move on from other players from the Davis era and embrace full tank mode?
Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle, and Nikola Mirotic are all very solid role players who can help a playoff team looking to move up. Holiday and Mirotic can be plugged in on almost any team, but there are two prime candidates for both of them in the Eastern Conference.
The Indiana Pacers are looking for a new lead guard to help them make a playoff run now that Victor Oladipo is out for the remainder of the season. Milwaukee puts up more three pointers than just about anyone in the league and would love to add a stretch four like Mirotic.
Davis alone changes the trajectory of any organization. But watch how any Davis deal impacts the greater landscape of the NBA outside of the teams directly involved in the trade.
That’s what makes any potential trade so fascinating.
Depending on how New Orleans decides to play this they could end up going full fire sale at the deadline and move everyone. Those deals could motivate other teams to adjust depending on who goes where, and so on and so forth.
Where Davis ends up could affect the Spurs’ decision making in the near future.
If he lands with the Lakers, or God forbid the Warriors, they may have to position themselves as future championship contenders rather than current ones.
But if AD is sent to the Eastern Conference, that sends one superstar out of the West and makes the bottom of the conference a bit thinner.
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Anthony Davis requesting a trade is big enough news in itself. The subsequent deals that could come after could completely change the NBA landscape.
What was shaping out to be a dull trade deadline just got a whole lot more exciting.