I’ve seen this take all over the internet today, and we need to pump the breaks a bit as a fan base. For starters, the dumb Rose Rule won’t allow us to finalize a trade for Davis until the first of July, and even then Kyrie would have to opt out, then resign. Had Davis waited until the off season, then declared for a trade, this a lot more doable for Boston. The real problem with this “Davis to Boston” pipe dream though, is the offers New Orleans will have to turn down to even get to discussions with Danny Ainge.
Right off the bat the Lakers are ready to send a king’s ransom to the Big Easy. Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram are all sought after prospects, with a litany of guys on one year contracts to match the money, the Lakers are a very clear landing spot for Davis. Also, the Lakers currently have this LeBron James guy who is a pretty good dance partner. Obviously, trading him in conference isn’t ideal, but if the Pelicans want to capitalize right now and get the rebuild started, they can do a lot worse than what Los Angeles has to offer.
While we’re in the West, I wouldn’t be shocked if Mark Cuban puts a decent offer together. The Mavericks have a solid prospect in Dennis Smith, who doesn’t get along with the front office already, and the DeAndre Jordan contract to make the money work. Dallas doesn’t have much after that, and if they trade Luka Doncic, they should be forced to fold the entire franchise. Phoenix is sort of in the same boat as Dallas, one prospect to offer and really nothing else. First overall pick DeAndre Ayton would be a huge step forward in trade talks, but outside of adding Devin Booker, there isn’t much else. Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender are former top five picks, but they very much stink at basketball. Teams at the top of the West that need the fire power to match Golden State like Oklahoma City, Denver, Houston, and Portland just don’t have the assets to land Davis either. So if keeping him the West isn’t an issue, the Lakers are the clear front runner on the opposite side of the Mississippi.
If they want to send him to the East, there are a few teams that can put together monster packages before the Celtics can even sit down with Pelicans brass. Look for Milwaukee and Toronto to at least inquire about The Brow, just to put distance between themselves and the rest of the East. Pascal Siakam is already better right now than anyone the Lakers can offer, outside of maybe Kuzma, but they don’t have any assets after that. Milwaukee cannot offer anything of value. Middleton, Brogdon and Maker isn’t a terrible package for a lower caliber All Star, but they’ll get laughed at if they offer that to New Orleans. The real threats to steal Davis away from Causeway Street are Philadelphia and New York. Philly is only in the conversation due to Ben Simmons. Now at no point has anyone from the organization hinted at wanting to move Simmons, but the “Davis for Simmons?” question has been asked all year on Twitter. If GM Elton Brand answers that question yes, Davis will be a Sixer, regardless of any other offer.Now New York is a tricky situation. They’re essentially guaranteed a monster free agent this off season, Kevin Durant is very much possible, and they absolutely have the assets on their roster right now. They currently hold the second worst record in basketball, so a top five pick would be sent to New Orleans. The prospect side of things though is where this gets real interesting. Lottery pick, and youngest player in the league, Kevin Knox would for sure be included. Promising rookie Mitchell Robinson would be tossed in as well, as he’s showing pretty solid upside if given time to get his game a little more polished. The real needle mover though, is the idea of the Knicks trading currently injured big man Kristaps Porzingis. Kristaps has made it clear he may test free agency when his current rookie deal is up, and he could garner a massive return in his own right. Now a seven foot human with a bad knee doesn’t sound too appealing, but Boogie Cousins seemingly not missing a beat in Golden State may ease that injury worry tension in New Orleans. If the Knicks decide it’s time to part ways with Kristaps, that deal is way too good for New Orleans to pass up. Knox, Robinson, Kristaps, and Julius Randle is a good young core to start a rebuild with, and more additions could be expected if Jrue Holiday is moved as well.
At this point the Celtics have to hope that every other GM in the league forgets how phones work and can’t get in touch with Davis or the Pelicans. Yeah, Tatum and/or Brown, with various bench players, and a few of our thousand lottery picks is clearly the superior offer, but why would New Orleans wait around for a deal that may not get proposed? The only real way Davis ends up in Celtics’ green is if Kyrie Irving is traded, and that isn’t going to happen.
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