The latest episode of Chris Sheridan’s Sports Betting Tips podcast is hot off the press and it’s a special one as the veteran journalist is joined by legendary ESPN play-by-play analyst, Hubie Brown to talk about the NBA trade deadline and some of the trade rumors that are swirling right now. Of course, the lead topic is Anthony Davis and whether the New Orleans Pelicans will try to trade him.
Davis and his future have been the preeminent issue for the Pelicans but it’s unclear what his plans and what their plans are. He’s signed through the end of next season but the Pelicans already lost DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo without getting anything back. Can they risk doing the same with Davis?
“You cannot allow Davis to go another year or so with his contract knowing whether he’s going to stay or not,” says Brown, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005. “If you keep him for that period of time — whenever that ends — and you receiving nothing in return, your franchise is a total disaster.”
There’s no question that Davis is a special talent. He’s averaging a career-best 29.3 points per game along with 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.7 steals. He currently leads the league in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) with a score of 30.90. The issue is that the Pelicans have now had him for seven years and haven’t been able to build a contender around him. They’re just 21-25 and are four games out of a playoff spot. He’s tired of losing and likely wants to go to a contender, so that’s why it’s best they get something in return before he leaves.
The question is who has the assets to make a deal?
“With the Boston Celtics, they have youth, guys they can move and they have two players that are unhappy with minutes, shot attempts and not being on the floor in the closing seconds of the game,” says Brown.
The Celtics definitely have players like Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown who could be part of a package. They also have a slew of first-round picks. Would that be enough? The Celtics might also decide to include Kyrie Irving in the deal, but the Pelicans might be in the same position they are now: holding a star player who will eventually leave to go to a major city.
“Going to New Orleans with no Cousins or Davis in the frontlines, what kind of future is that for him” Brown asks.
That likely means they wouldn’t want Irving, so is the Celtics package of players and picks enough?
The other main option is the Los Angeles Lakers. They also have a number of young players that could be attractive but the concern is that they have no urgency to make a move. Why trade young assets like Kyle Kuzma when Davis will soon be a free agent and might sign with the team?
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