Pelicans Notes: Davis, Barnes, Mirotic

With trade speculation swirling around Anthony Davis, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes that Davis’ situation is the NBA’s biggest ongoing story, contending that the media didn’t create that story — the calendar did. With the Pelicans now in 14th place in the Western Conference at 15-20 and Davis’ super-max eligibility just over six months away, it’s only logical that NBA insiders – including media, agents, and executives – will start taking a closer look at Davis’ future, says Lowe.

Davis hasn’t expressed interest in a trade. He also hasn’t told people close to him that he wants to join the Lakers or any other specific team if he decides to leave New Orleans, sources tell Lowe.

Still, Lowe – who hears that teams expect Davis to sign a series of shorter-term contracts – is predicting that the All-NBA big man will eventually turn down the Pelicans’ super-max offer when the team puts it on the table in the offseason. If that happens, Davis would effectively become a free agent, according to Lowe, since he’d be on an expiring contract and will have passed on the Pelicans’ best possible extension offer.

Here’s more from Lowe on Davis and the Pelicans:

  • Explaining why the Lakers and Celtics are most frequently cited as the logical trade partners for the Pelicans if they eventually decide to move Davis, Lowe runs through several other options – including the Heat, Spurs, Bulls, Knicks, and Sixers – and has trouble finding another team with the necessary assets to make it work.
  • As Lowe details, the Heat, Spurs, Bulls, and Knicks would have to give up virtually all the players Davis would want as teammates, and Klutch’s representation of Ben Simmons would complicate a Philadelphia scenario. The Warriors would have interest, according to Lowe, but they wouldn’t trade Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry, and it would be tricky to make a deal work with Klay Thompson (a 2019 free agent) or Draymond Green as a centerpiece.
  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer covers similar ground in an article of his own, taking a deep dive into the Davis situation and exploring possible outcomes and trade scenarios. One interesting note from O’Connor, who examines whether the Pelicans can improve their roster around Davis: The Pelicans have never gone into the luxury tax, and front office executives don’t expect them to anytime soon.
  • On the non-Davis front, Lowe revisits some previous Pelicans roster moves, citing sources who say that the team considered spending all its cap room in 2016 on Harrison Barnes. Instead, New Orleans ended up with E’Twaun Moore and Solomon Hill — the investment in Moore has worked out, but Hill’s contract has become an albatross.
  • Although the Pelicans’ 2017/18 in-season acquisition of Nikola Mirotic essentially served as a response to DeMarcus Cousins‘ season-ending Achilles injury, they were actually in trade talks for Mirotic even before that injury, per Lowe. Davis, Cousins, and Mirotic couldn’t have all been on the court together, so it’s not clear how New Orleans’ plan would have worked if Cousins hadn’t gotten hurt — it was “the sort of jumble that materializes when a team flings itself from plan to plan,” writes Lowe.
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41 thoughts on “Pelicans Notes: Davis, Barnes, Mirotic

    • Z-A

      Let’s see AD & Embiid on the floor together at the same time first lol. Remember, Boogie thinks he’s a PG at 6’11. Embiid is a ‘stretch’-5.

      • josechelin

        Simmons is under control for 2 more years. No other team can offer a player with that much upside of Simmons. AD is a free agent next year I think.

    • df08988

      Celtics CANNOT trade for Davis because of the special contract status he and Kyrie have. Teams cannot acquire via trade two of these type of contracts. Celtics can ONLY sign him as a free agent.

      • ac106

        they can trade for him as soon as Kyrie signs an new contract. If celtics offer is good enough to get AD, Pelicans will wait.

      • Luke Adams

        Celtics could trade for him as of July (when Kyrie officially opts out), and it’s extremely unlikely the Pelicans would make a deal before then anyway.

  1. wright0525

    Any deal involving the Celtics starts with Tatum. Haywood is overpaid, and Brown, although solid, is not a franchise player.

    • LordBanana

      Celtics would have to include a pick just to give Haywood away at this point

    • Who is Haywood?? A Boston & NOLA deal starts with Tatum and probably also includes Horford to make the money work.

      • padam

        Tatum, Hayward and the Kings pick would be interesting if think for both sides. Horford can return to PF where he belongs.

        • x%sure

          AD wants the 4. Horford will either be slowing down or missing games, due to his knee condition, if it is what they say and not an excuse.

          Lakers can beat that; it comes down to how much Demps wants to avoid a Western team.

  2. ac106

    2 offers for the Pelicans to chose from: Lakers= Ball + Kuzma + Ingram + Hart plus say 3 end of 1st rd picks (over 5 years) or Celtics= Tatum + Brown + Rozier + 3 mid round or better 1st Rd picks (2019). No other team offers will top these. Which would you choose?

    • acarneglia

      The Lakers would never do that deal. They’d be trading their entire future and all their best players not named LeBron

      • ac106

        Well, then the Lakers aren’t getting AD in a trade because their picks aren’t worth anything.

      • x%sure

        They could probably keep Hart. Use Svi & Bonga instead, and Wagner goes too, unless they can lock in a trade before July 1 and use an expiring for salary.

        But Ingram & Ball were displaced, and Kuzma would be. Not that big a deal.

    • How about the Lakers keep ALL those guys and simply sign Davis 6 months from now?

    • adshadbolt1

      The Celtics won’t trade Tatum. If I was the Celtics I would offer them kyrie right now plus brown and picks. Kyrie has looked right lately and I like the way the team plays better with rozier on the court than kyrie and if they were to add AD to that it would be even better

  3. It’s just a matter of time before Davis is hoisting championship trophy 17 high in the air.

  4. Lowe is a clown. No, he’s not “essentially” a FA. The fact is he’s under contract for another year, and that fact doesn’t change no matter how many stories get floated, no matter how many reporters tell the Pels what they have to do, and no matter how many ex-players tell AD what he has to do.

    The Pels best move is still likely to be not to trade him at all, or wait until the middle of the 19/20 season. Sooner only if the centerpiece of the deal is a younger ascending player who’s at least at all star level, or maybe a top overall pick.

    • x%sure

      Saying “essentially” an FA is not the best word but not a lie either, not like ‘exactly’ or ‘literally’ an FA. But it’s going to be like that for 14 months tops.

      Lowe writes to entertain, but his articles are also thick with observations. So, more like an emcee than a clown.
      I think the “no one ever” is odd too, he’s a top dog at a site that keeps track of their customers.

  5. mhdunbar99

    Pelicans management has been arbitrarily throwing together an ever changing random combination of supporting players. Zero consistency makes it impossible to create any rhythm or improvement. Hope is not a strategy!

    • Johnny h

      They have a good team right now, they’d just had horrible luck with injuries.

  6. Guest617

    sad the pels couldn’t build around future HOF stud ~ once kyrie resigns the celtics make the most sense: brown, rozie, picks, and hayward or horford. two duke legends reuniting would be a dream come true for both players.

  7. Reflect

    Lots of players with the same agent get traded for each other all the time. ESPN reaching for content, as usual.

  8. padam

    Playing armchair GM, but if the Knicks somehow got the top pick in the draft (thus Williamson), I could see them being a player in market next year for Davis if he’s not moved by then. Offering up the top pick, along with Hardaway/Lee (salary), Knox and perhaps Frank N. for Davis would possibly do it. Knicks I’m sure would capture Durant’s attention, playing along with Davis and Porzingus. That would be an insane forward line. Pelicans would be deep, competitive, and have a rising star to build on.

  9. x%sure

    The “AD,LA2LA” trade talk shows how all the effort that has been made to tip the scales in favor of teams signing their own FAs has not gone to plan.

    The Ringer found only a $14.3MM difference between what the Pels & Lakers can offer over 6 years, not including the $4.1 trade kicker from NOP, which lessens the gap even more. Depending on how that works out (possibly ceded in exchange for a trade to a team Davis wants), that’s about a 5% difference!

    The difference between what the Pels can offer (6/$266.6MM) and what an overthecap team like the Celts can, is well more than ~$5MM, but that did not get explored.

  10. x%sure

    And what exactly does ADavis mean by ‘legacy’ in “legacy is more important than money”?– It could mean titles won, or it could mean not abandoning who brought you. For instance, NOLA still reveres QB Archie Manning, decades later, for sticking it out with a perpetually bad Saints expansion team.

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