The New Orleans Pelicans are set to sit back and wait for what they view as the best possible trade offer for star forward Anthony Davis in the coming days. And it’s possible that days could certainly turn into months if nothing incredible is brought to the table. But of the many possible offers that may come, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers have the potential to put together two of the best packages.
But both potential deals come with risk, for various reasons. If a team doesn’t strike a deal with New Orleans prior to the February 7 deadline, the Pelicans could opt to wait until the offseason to hear what the Boston Celtics can bring to the table. And based on what we know about the number of young players and assets the Celtics have, it’s hard to argue that anyone could top that offer.
So, if the Lakers or Sixers want to acquire Davis ahead of the deadline, it’ll require a drastic deal. But one of the two potential trades is far more eye-opening than the other, so we’re going to break down the two deals which could alter the NBA landscape.
*All deals created with the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.
Sixers Move Ben Simmons & Jimmy Butler in Anthony Davis Deal
*Sixers send a future first-round pick to Pelicans
Let’s play the hypothetical game here, and assume the Sixers are open and willing to the idea of trading Ben Simmons to the Pelicans. If they were willing to do that deal, we’re looking at Philly boasting a core of Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis. Rolling out three ball-dominant players who need shots as they attempt to share the floor sounds less than ideal.
So, how about bringing Jrue Holiday back to the team that originally drafted him? We know Holiday and Davis can play well together and have chemistry. Beyond that, Holiday previously played alongside Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and had no issue doing so. If the Sixers don’t plan on re-signing Butler, which is possible considering the already-rumored drama, then this deal makes sense.
In turn, you’re setting Philly up with Embiid, Davis and Holiday to build a core for the future around. The new interior duo alone would be arguably one of the most dominant in the NBA.
Lakers Make the Monster Trade Offer for Davis
*Lakers send two future first-round picks to Pelicans
For hypothetical number two, we’ll assume the trade deadline is about to pass and the Pelicans are primed to set their sights on the Celtics in the coming offseason. Magic Johnson and the Lakers front office decide they can’t let that happen, so they go all-in and swing for the fences. They do this by creating the offer pegged as being where the team had to “start” on talks, as Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported.
Based on the offers that fly in for Davis, it leads to the Lakers having to tack on a second first-round pick, because the Pelicans weren’t kidding when they said the above was just a start. But the deal gets done, Davis joins LeBron James and the Lakers, meaning a championship is expected to be on its way to Los Angeles in the very near future.
Obviously, these are huge offers, and there’s a reason to believe neither would happen, but it’s hard to argue that the Lakers deal isn’t at least possible. As far as the Sixers dealing Simmons and Butler? That’d be a tough sell.