With the NBA trade deadline only a couple of weeks away, the league was sent into a frenzy on Monday morning with the report of superstar Anthony Davis and his agent Rich Paul telling the New Orleans Pelicans that he will not be signing a five-year, $240 million supermax extension and instead requesting to be traded.
Immediately after the news broke, reports started to fly about which teams could acquire the 25-year-old All-NBA forward. Outside of the already known suitors (New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Lakers, Chris B. Hayes of Yahoo Sports reported on Monday that the Philadelphia 76ers currently have no plans to pursue a deal.
The NBA scribe adds that a deal is highly unlikely between the two squads, especially since Paul represents both Davis and Sixers’ second-year point guard Ben Simmons.
Nevertheless, it does not come as a surprise to see Philly not interested in Davis. They already have their franchise cornerstone big man in Joel Embiid and used most of their valuable assets in the blockbuster trade for Jimmy Butler earlier this season.
Before this season began, Chris Sheridan of GetMoreSports wrote that Davis is considering the Sixers, Celtics, Knicks and the Pelicans. He also said that the determining factor for the 25-year-old superstar would be what the Pelicans did in the first half of the season.
Davis reportedly wants to play in a big market that is committed to winning. New Orleans currently does not fit this mold as they have a record of 22-28, which is the third worst in the Western Conference.
This season, the 25-year-old Chicago native is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 37 minutes per game. He is also shooting 50.8-percent from the field and 32.5-percent from three-point range on three attempts per game.
Even though a trade will not happen between the two teams, one does wonder what a possible deal could have looked like.
One potential trade that the Pelicans might have taken for Davis is Philly sending them Wilson Chandler, Markelle Fultz, Zhaire Smith and a 2019 first-round pick.
While this trade would help the Pelicans in their rebuild post-Davis, the Sixers would lose a lot of unproven young talent. And who knows if New Orleans would ask Philly for the Miami Heat’s 2021 first-round pick too, which they acquired on draft night last summer.
Ultimately, it should be interesting to see how Davis’s sweepstakes play out leading up to the deadline and afterward. The Pelicans are not in a rush to trade the superstar big man yet as he will not hit free agency until 2020.