BOSTON (CBS) — With the NBA Draft just over a week away, we’re starting to get a clearer picture on what the New Orleans Pelicans want should they decide to trade All-Star center Anthony Davis. To the surprise of no one, it’s quite a lot.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin wants “a combination of assets that include an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks, league sources said.” Wojnarowski adds that those requests are “on a sliding scale,” so better draft picks will command a lesser player be included in a deal, and vice versa.
The Boston Celtics are mentioned merely as an afterthought in Wojnarowski’s report, a team that “must take into consideration the future of free agent Kyrie Irving before committing to a significant offer of assets to New Orleans.” Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks are listed as the front offices already inquiring about Davis’ availability.
From a Boston standpoint, the offer would start with Jaylen Brown and/or Jayson Tatum, any of Boston’s three first-round picks in 2019, and the future Memphis Grizzlies pick that Danny Ainge has burning a hole in his back pocket. Gordon Hayward or Al Horford could be added as a salary match, with Marcus Smart also likely included in the trade package.
It’s a lot to give up, especially given the possibility that Davis signs elsewhere next summer. Ainge would reportedly still trade for Davis even if Irving leaves this offseason, which would be the biggest gamble that Ainge has made during his tenure as Celtics president of basketball ops.
Wojnarowski is also reporting that Griffin has been searching for multi-team trades to help the Pelicans get the bounty they want for Davis, which shows that the Knicks and Lakers don’t have everything that New Orleans wants despite holding the No. 3 and No. 4 pick in the upcoming draft, respectively. If those teams want to land Davis, they better go out and find a third team to help their cause.
There is no timetable for a potential Davis deal to be completed, though the Pelicans would like it to be done a few days prior to the NBA Draft so New Orleans can meet with potential picks. With the draft slated for next Thursday, the wheels could really get rolling on what should be a wild NBA offseason within the next couple of days.