Now that the NBA Draft Lottery is over, the NBA landscape is about to change in a major way. Despite just 6% odds of landing the number one overall pick, the New Orleans Pelicans find themselves with the ability to draft the highly coveted Zion Williamson. The Pelicans will likely trade Anthony Davis, given he may not re-sign with the team after the 2019-20 season, but what teams can offer the most for Anthony Davis and what would be the best trade for the Pelicans?
- Jaylen Brown
- Jayson Tatum
- Memphis pick (top-6 protected in 2020, unprotected in 2021)
- Marcus Smart
- 2019, pick 14
- 2019, pick 20
- 2019, pick 22
The Boston Celtics are unlikely to trade all of these assets for Anthony Davis, but Danny Ainge is able to offer more picks than the other two teams we will look at. Therefore, Danny Ainge could realistically trade two of Brown/Tatum/Smart, as well as the three first round picks this year, in exchange for Davis, still leaving them with one of the three players and the Memphis pick. Obviously, the ability to offer the Pelicans the choice of multiple players in this draft is the point the Celtics will try to sell.
Los Angeles Lakers
- 2019, pick 4
- Kyle Kuzma
- Brandon Ingram
- 2021 first round pick
- Lonzo Ball
- Josh Hart
- Mortiz Wagner
The Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely candidates in trading for Anthony Davis, as of right now. Even if you ignore the fact that Brandon Ingram’s blood clot is a huge red flag for any GM and that the players listed are mostly bench players, the Lakers could trade all five of these players and still come up $2 million short on salary matching. Unless the Lakers can pull off either and sign-and-trade or a three-team deal, this trade scenario is pretty unlikely. The final disadvantage for the Lakers is they are in the Western Conference, meaning David Griffin may not want to trade his top-five player to another team in the West.
New York Knicks
- Kevin Knox
- 2019, pick 3
- Dallas pick (unprotected in 2021)
- Mitchell Robinson
- 2020, own first round pick
- Dennis Smith Jr.
- 2021, own first round pick
The lottery set the New York Knicks back years. The third pick in the draft will yield either Ja Morant or RJ Barrett, but the Knicks are going to be bad for a while. The enticing thing about the Knicks is that Kevin Knox is only 19, which means his timeline is right there with Zion’s and the Pelicans could draft both Duke stars at numbers 1 and 3 overall. The New York Knicks aren’t able to offer the volume of picks that the Celtics can, but the quality of the picks they can offer (Dallas’ 2021 unprotected pick will be pretty good) is the best of the three. The added bonus for the Knicks is that they are rumored to be one of the only teams Davis would actually re-sign with, meaning a higher price will should be a payoff in the end.
I make it no secret that I am a Boston Celtics fan on this site. I think it’s important to reveal that bias when I write articles so that you, the reader, know where I am coming from when I view the NBA as a whole. The said, here are my thoughts on these three teams…
- The New York Knicks can offer a promising young player in Kevin Knox, but their real selling points should be the number three overall pick in 2019 and the unprotected pick from Dallas in 2021.
- The Los Angeles Lakers have the advantage of being able to trade players that have already seen NBA action and at least understand to play at the NBA level. This is both a good and a bad thing if David Griffin decides he doesn’t like what he has seen from the young Laker corps.
- The Boston Celtics are, objectively, in the best position to trade for Anthony Davis due to their young players and sheer volume of first round draft picks for both the immediate and long-term future.
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