Southwest Notes: Davis, Pelicans, Rockets, Mavs

Responding to a report which claimed she had said she’d only trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers “over my dead body,” Pelicans owner Gayle Benson laughed and called it “totally absurd” and “completely untrue,” tweets Fletcher Mackel of WDSU.

Rumors of the Pelicans’ reluctance to send Davis to the Lakers have persisted since before the trade deadline. There was a perception that the timing of Davis’ trade request was orchestrated by his camp to attempt to push him to Los Angeles, with the Pels resisting that outcome.

While sending their All-NBA big man to a big-market conference rival may not be their first choice, the idea that the Pelicans would rule out a trade partner altogether is far-fetched — if the Lakers’ offer is clearly the most favorable, it wouldn’t make sense for New Orleans to look elsewhere out of spite.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Speaking of potential Davis trade talks, Kevin Knox may be a centerpiece in any Knicks offer for the Pelicans‘ star, but a source tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News that New Orleans isn’t high on the 2018 first-rounder.
  • In the view of Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer, the Rockets‘ biggest offseason priority should be adding a frontcourt player who is capable of creating shots and offense.
  • The risks associated with acquiring Kristaps Porzingis keep growing for the Mavericks, Kevin Sherrington of the Daily Morning News opines. While it’s unlikely to prevent owner Mark Cuban from offering Porzingis an extension this summer, the Latvian big man carries plenty of baggage with him, Sherrington continues. The latest unsavory incident is his alleged involvement in a bar room brawl in his home country.
  • Magic center Nikola Vucevic might be a better free agent fit than Hornets point guard Kemba Walker, Sherrington writes in a separate story. Vucevic would give Dallas size, rebounding, scoring and play-making, with his relative lack of athleticism the only downside. Walker and Doncic would have to share the ball and that approach didn’t work well with Dennis Smith Jr. this season, Sherrington notes.

Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.

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10 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Davis, Pelicans, Rockets, Mavs

  1. x%sure

    The Rockets need “a frontcourt player who is capable of creating shots and offense”? That is not their model. Paul can do that for one more year at least.
    HOU will be needing any forward at all!

      • x%sure

        And that’s their model, backcourt playmaking. It is not time yet to throw that out– Paul can still do it– and Dantoni is stubborn in his ways anyway.

        What the Texas writer left unsaid in the article was the need for another playmaker due to Paul’s decline and un-tradeability. Obviously this would point to a frontcourt player since that is what’s left. However Paul’s decline will be a topic that local writers will step gingerly around if they want Paul’s cooperation in the future.

        And so this writer instead made a silly argument about how titlewinners have a frontcourt playmaker. Except when they don’t. It’s a deflection from saying something that will piss off Paul.

    • knickscavsfan

      They said “front court”. That’s refers to SF, PF and C. S

      Problem is they don’t have any draft assets in 2019 and their 1st rounders probably won’t be high for the next couple of years. They don’t have much cap space to sign a top FA. They don’t have a lot of trade assets unless they are willing to move Capela. I wonder what’s the best they can offer Boogie coming off his 2nd straight major leg injury?

      If Boogie had to settle for 1/$5 last year would he jump at something like 2/$20 or 1/$10 w/ a PO the same?

      Their window of opportunity isn’t that far away from closing. Most of their key players will be 30 and over aside from Capela. They have $90-105 mil committed to Harden, Paul and Capela. How can they really add an impact player AND add the needed depth to really sustain?

  2. cesc

    Of course Pels haven’t got the right to ignore any team including the Lakers, but Lakers doesn’t have to clearly make the best offer to be chosen, just about as good as any other offer.
    No one is high on Kevin Knox… maybe only the Knicks.
    Can’t see how a bar brawl becomes baggage for KP6.
    Vucevic would be waaay better fit than Kemba. He brings all the mentioned in the article, while KP6 brings the rim protection. Kemba is a ball dominant player, wouldn’t work with Luka. They need a type of Beverley, a very strong defensive guard, not a shoot first or ball dominant guard.

  3. emac22

    I don’t think spite is the reasoning but I do think there are legit reasons not to send him to LA.

    1. Who would ever want to press of having traded AD to the Lakers if they end up being the team that beats you in the playoffs? I’d need a return from the Lakers or most western conference teams to be a good bit bigger for this alone.

    2. You cannot reward a person or a team (or even a child) for what they think the Lakers did last year. You absolutely have to show everyone that you will light yourself on fire before you ever let anyone gain any advantage by f-ing with you like that. You have to make sure they pay a painful price for the offense and absolutely do not get what they wanted.

    • x%sure

      Agree, but how long should they continue the grudge? There’s a new, EC, “Northern” GM now, one that can ignore the previous slight.

      Still, Griffin may not favor the lakers players on his own, like @DXC claims nearby on this page. That would explain why Lady Benson sounds so relaxed!

  4. All it really means is she likely won’t approve an AD trade to the Lakers, unless she’s assured that they’re offering the best package, and nobody else will step up to match it. The bigger problem for the Lakers is Griffin. He’ll determine what the best package is. His method of player evaluation doesn’t favor the young Laker players. His personal history isn’t good here for the Lakers either. So, to the extent the Lakers’ actions in regard to AD led (indirectly) to Griffin’s hiring, that would be fitting punishment.

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