After years of speculation, Anthony Davis has finally made it known that he wants to get out of New Orleans. The San Antonio Spurs haven’t been talked about as a potential AD destination, but they have the assets to get a deal done.
NBA pundits have been wondering when Anthony Davis would get fed up and want out of New Orleans, and it looks like that time has finally come.
AD has been grabbing headlines with nearly everything he says about his future, and Woj broke the news that Davis wants to play elsewhere with the trade deadline coming up in about a week-and-a-half.
The Celtics and Lakers have been considered the frontrunners in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes ever since LeBron went to Los Angeles, but we’ve often seen teams come out of nowhere and make blockbuster trades.
San Antonio has a good amount of assets to send to New Orleans in a deal for Anthony Davis. Could the Spurs be the AD dark horse that no one is currently talking about?
Next: Trade Package #1
Trade Package #1
New Orleans wants to get the best of both worlds in an Anthony Davis trade where they acquire someone who can help them win now, and stockpile some future assets to rebuild.
The Spurs can create a package to do exactly that.
Dan Favale of Bleacher Report proposed a trade that would send DeMar DeRozan, Bryn Forbes, Lonnie Walker, the Spurs’ 2019 first-round pick (unprotected), and the Raptors’ 2019 first-round pick (top-20 protected) to New Orleans. The Pelicans would then send Anthony Davis to San Antonio along with Tim Frazier and Wesley Johnson to make the salaries work.
New Orleans knows they can’t tank in a market where basketball isn’t the number one sport in town, and DeMar DeRozan would help them sell tickets while they rebuild their roster.
There aren’t many teams that can give the Pelicans two first round picks in this year’s draft that could help them begin their rebuild right away.
San Antonio has the ability to sweeten the deal with by upgrading the Bryn Forbes piece of the trade with Derrick White, who is clearly a better asset at this point in time.
Unfortunately, the Spurs’ two first round picks will probably be in the 20’s which won’t allow New Orleans to acquire the high-end talent that they desperately need in the upcoming draft.
But the Pelicans don’t have a lot of leverage in these negotiations after AD made it known that he wants to move on.
Next: Trade Package #2
Trade Package #2
The second trade package that could make the Pelicans’ ears perk up on the other end of the phone line would be LaMarcus Aldridge, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker, and the Spurs’ two 2019 first round picks for Anthony Davis.
Aldridge is not as valuable as DeMar DeRozan as a trade asset, but he is over $5 million cheaper than DeRozan and the Pelicans could begin their total rebuild once Aldridge declines over the next couple of years.
In this deal, New Orleans receives two young guards to develop a new post-AD core and the two first round picks could get packaged together to move up in the draft come June.
The Spurs have plenty of other players to sweeten the deal if the Pelicans decline this offer including a promising young center in Jakob Poeltl and plenty of solid role players that could help New Orleans win in the near future with Jrue Holiday, Julius Randle, and Nikola Mirotic.
I think both of these trade packages are attractive enough to make New Orleans listen considering AD took all of their leverage by leaking his desire to leave.
Next: Would Anthony Davis re-sign in San Antonio
Would Anthony Davis re-sign in San Antonio?
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The biggest roll of the dice in this scenario would be attempting to sign AD to a contract extension if the Spurs are able to agree with the Pelicans on a deal.
Davis clearly cares more about winning championships than the record-breaking money he could make in New Orleans, and the Spurs have proven to be annual championship contenders for the last two decades.
The biggest factor in these negotiations would be whether Gregg Popovich is willing to continue coaching during Davis’ prime years.
Pop told Marc Stein that he doesn’t know for sure whether he’ll be back next season, and many people that cover the league think he may retire from coaching for good after the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
AD would need a promise from Pop that he is going to keep coaching for at least another five years if he’s going to sign a deal to stay in San Antonio after the trade.
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Pop may have a change of heart if he’s willing to acquire a championship-caliber talent like Anthony Davis, which could extend his legendary coaching career.
If Popovich is unable to make that promise, then I don’t think the Spurs are serious contenders in the AD sweepstakes despite their attractive amount of assets.