The big news that hit NBA Twitter on Monday was that Anthony Davis has requested a trade out of New Orleans. The Pelicans big man told the front office that he won’t sign a super-max extension in the offseason and wants to be dealt. Davis prefers to go to a team that offers him the ability to contend regular and win titles.
You can’t blame Davis. The Pelicans have yet to put together a true contending team with him on the roster and this season, they are the third worst team in the west.
With a record of 22-28, New Orleans has an opportunity to deal Davis and get good value for him. Whether they decide to trade him soon or in the offseason remains to be seen, but there are already some favorites for AD’s services.
The Sixers are not one of those teams. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Philadelphia doesn’t plan to go after Davis despite having some intriguing pieces to deal.
Philadelphia, which could put together a fairly competitive offer for Davis, currently has no plans to pursue a deal, sources said. Rich Paul of Klutch Sports represents Davis and Ben Simmons, and a deal centered on swapping his clients is highly unlikely.
Philadelphia’s lack of strong draft capital and proven player assets would make a deal for Davis quite difficult. It would likely take a pair of first-round picks in addition to Ben Simmons and a couple of others. As noted by Rich Paul above, a deal swapping Simmons and Davis would be ‘highly unlikely. It’s probably not in Elton Brand’s best interest to include Simmons in a trade either. Since Philadelphia is likely to be among the best teams in the East moving forward, their own picks may not hold value for a team like the Pelicans, who could re-tool.
What does this situation mean for the Sixers, exactly, though? If New Orleans is going to move on without Davis, it would seem sensible for them to sell off some other players and re-shape the roster. Jrue Holiday would be an attractive piece for Philadelphia.
Haynes lists the Lakers and Knicks as two teams preparing to make offers for Davis, but the Celtics have also been mentioned. AD reportedly prefers not to go to Boston, though. The Celtics wouldn’t be able to move on Davis until the offseason because of Kyrie’s contract situation.
New York could put together a deal that includes a combination of an unprotected pick in 2019 along with Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox.
As for Los Angeles, a deal would certainly be centered around Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and perhaps even Brandon Ingram plus draft picks.
Davis tells Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry that he plans to play through the season despite the trade request. That being said, Davis could still easily be dealt prior to the trade deadline on February 7.