Jrue Holiday

Pelicans Agree To Trade Anthony Davis To Lakers

The Pelicans have reached an agreement to trade All-Star big man Anthony Davis to the Lakers for guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, forward Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

The Lakers immediately become championship contenders with Davis joining forces with LeBron James. Davis’ agent Rich Paul, also James’ agent, had tried to steer trade talks toward the Lakers over the winter after Davis’ desire to be traded was made public. But Davis didn’t get his wish at the time.

Paul and Davis recently met with the Pelicans’ new top executive, David Griffin, who tried to convince Davis to rescind his trade request. Davis declined and expressed his desire to play long-term for either the Lakers or Knicks.

GM Rob Pelinka, who has been under fire after criticism from former Lakers president Magic Johnson, pulled off a major coup by winning the Davis sweepstakes over the Knicks and Celtics, among others. Los Angeles gave up plenty in the deal but didn’t have to include another talented big man, Kyle Kuzma.

Davis could sign an extension with the Lakers but still intends to test free agency next summer, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

The Lakers will have either $27.8MM or $32.5MM in cap room after the deal to pursue a high-level free agent, depending upon timing and Davis’ willingness to waive his $4MM trade bonus, ESPN salary cap expert Bobby Marks tweets.

The trade cannot be officially finalized until after the new league year begins in July. It may be even be completed as late as July 30 — newly-drafted players can be traded immediately without signing a rookie scale contract, but if they sign that contract, they aren’t eligible to be dealt for 30 days. Waiting those 30 days would be advantageous to the Lakers for cap-related reasons, as Marks notes (via Twitter).

The Lakers still don’t have quite enough cap room to max out a free agent like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker but they’re close to it, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Naturally, one of those free agents might take a little less to form a superstar trio in Los Angeles or the Lakers could make other moves to clear more cap room. Walker will be the Lakers’ top free agent target, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

Boston refused to part with its top young player, forward Jayson Tatum, in trade talks with the Pelicans, Stein add in another tweet. That put the Lakers in the driver’s seat for Davis’ services.

With Ball and Hart joining Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans have greatly enhanced their backcourt. They now have the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in Thursday’s draft. It’s a slam dunk they’ll select Duke forward Zion Williamson with the top pick and theyll get another high-level prospect, unless they have another trade in the works. Williamson and Ingram should be a formidable duo at the forward spots and the Pelicans can now concentrate on bringing in another big man to make all the other pieces work.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pelicans Exploring Multi-Team Anthony Davis Trade Scenarios

The Pelicans have started to provide potential Anthony Davis suitors with the framework of the package they’re seeking in return for their star big man, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Wojnarowski, new head of basketball operations David Griffin is open to multi-team scenarios that would expand the pool of potential assets available to New Orleans.

The Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, and Nets are among the teams that have been in touch with the Pelicans since they began listening to inquiries on Davis, Wojnarowski writes. The Celtics also have interest in AD, though Kyrie Irving‘s uncertain future is a wild card in their potential pursuit. Based on the success the Raptors have had with their Kawhi Leonard acquisition, other smaller-market teams or unexpected suitors may also be emboldened to make a play for Davis, Woj adds.

[RELATED: Top 25 Assets Among Presumed Anthony Davis Contenders]

Based on conversations with front offices who have spoken to Griffin, Wojnarowski suggests that the Pelicans aren’t sure if a single team will be able to provide the package they want for Davis. A multi-team scenario that would allow the club acquiring Davis to flip some of its pieces for assets more favorable to the Pelicans is one idea under consideration.

According to Woj, Griffin is seeking some combination of the following assets: An All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential, and multiple first-round picks. As Woj explains, the strength of some of those pieces would have an impact on the rest of the package. For example, the better the player headlining the offer, the softer the ask for draft picks might be.

The Pelicans, who are looking to build around Jrue Holiday and presumed No. 1 pick Zion Williamson, haven’t given teams a specific timetable on when they want to finalize a trade, league sources tell Wojnarowski.

However, Griffin would prefer to reach an agreement to acquire any 2019 draft picks before June 20, since it would give the team a better opportunity to scout and meet with potential targets, per Woj. If the Pelicans stick to that stance, it could really accelerate the timeline of a deal, since the draft is just 10 days away.

Some teams with interest in Davis may also be motivated to complete a deal by draft night, since acquiring the All-NBA big man would bolster a club’s pitches to top free agents.

Pelicans Have Begun Listening To Inquiries On Anthony Davis

Despite a desire to hang onto the All-NBA big man, new Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin has begun to listen to inquiries on Anthony Davis, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. As Charania details, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Davis will be moved this offseason, but it shows that the Pelicans are at least open to hearing out potential suitors.

Davis and Griffin recently met for the first time in Los Angeles, and while that meeting was described as respectful and productive, the 26-year-old’s preference to be traded reportedly remains unchanged. The Pelicans could keep trying to win AD over and hang onto him until the 2020 trade deadline – or beyond – but it seems unlikely that he’d relent on his trade request down the road if the team winning the draft lottery didn’t affect his stance at all, Charania writes.

Davis’ preferred list of destinations, reported when he initially made his trade request in the winter, included the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers, and Bucks. Executives around the NBA believe that the Lakers and Knicks – along with the Celtics and Nets – are capable of putting together the strongest packages, per Charania.

[RELATED: Top 25 Assets Among Presumed Anthony Davis Contenders]

While the Pelicans appear more open to the idea of moving Davis, there are no indications that the club is considering making Jrue Holiday available. Charania refers to the veteran guard as a “cornerstone” for New Orleans, adding that Holiday and Griffin have spent time with one another in Los Angeles this spring.

Southwest Notes: Barea, Ball, Davis, Capela, Conley

Point guard J.J. Barea‘s recovery from a ruptured right Achilles tendon is going well and he’s hopeful of playing for Puerto Rico in the FIBA World Cup this summer, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweets. The Mavericks veteran suffered the injury on January 11th and underwent surgery three days later.

“The way I feel right now, it looks pretty good,” Barea told MacMahon. “But I’m not going to make a decision until it gets closer.” Barea is doing non-contact basketball activity under the supervision of Mavericks staff members, MacMahon adds, and took 600 shots in an hour last week.

Barea, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is expected to re-sign with the Mavericks.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • While Anthony Davis‘ representatives said he still wants out after meeting last week with executive VP David Griffin, there’s no need for Griffin to rush out and trade the superstar big man, Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate writes. Griffin can wait as long as February’s trade deadline to deal Davis, leaving open the possibility that the team can convince him to change his mind. If Davis remains firm, his wish is more likely to come to fruition if he’s willing to make a commitment to the trade partner, Kushner adds.
  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is intrigued by the possibility of a Lonzo BallJrue Holiday backcourt if Davis is dealt to the Lakers, Andrew Lopez of the Times-Picayune reports (hat tip to the Sporting News).
  • The Hawks, Spurs, Mavericks and Kings are possible destinations for center Clint Capela if the Rockets deal him, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype opines. The Rockets reportedly have made everyone on the roster available at the right price.
  • The Grizzlies should swap veteran point guard Mike Conley while his value remains high after he averaged a career high in points this season, Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic argues.

NBA Announces 2018/19 All-Defensive Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2018/19 season, with Jazz center Rudy Gobert once again coming in as the leading vote-getter.

Gobert, a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, was listed on 99 of 100 ballots, with 97 of those ballots giving him a First Team vote, for a total of 196 points (two points per First Team vote; one point per Second Team vote). The All-Defensive nod ensures that the big man receives a $500K bonus, which had been considered likely since he was named to an All-Defensive team last season, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Gobert was closely followed by fellow Defensive Player of the Year candidates Paul George (Thunder) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), who received 195 and 193 total points, respectively.

[RELATED: NBA Announces 2018/19 All-Rookie Teams]

Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday secured a $100K bonus by earning a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team, notes Marks (via Twitter). Like Davis, he was an All-Defensive player last season as well, so that bonus had been considered likely — his cap hits for this year or next won’t be impacted by him earning it.

Here are the full voting results for the All-Defensive First and Second Teams, with each player’s point total noted in parentheses:

First Team:

Second Team:

Raptors guard Danny Green actually totaled 66 points, including 19 First Team votes, while Clippers guard Patrick Beverley had 48 points (14 First Team votes). However, All-Defensive teams are determined by position, so they didn’t make the cut because they ranked fifth and sixth in voting among guards.

Pacers center Myles Turner (39 points), Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (38), Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (24), and Spurs guard Derrick White (15) were the other leading vote-getters.

You can find the full voting results right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southwest Notes: Holiday, Rockets, Dorsey, Mavericks

Pelicans vice president of basketball operations David Griffin referred to star guard Jrue Holiday as a “building block” in his first press conference with the franchise this week, praising the 28-year-old and expressing confidence that the team can create a competitive roster with him at point guard.

Should New Orleans change course and gauge the market for Holiday in the coming weeks, several teams would have interest in his services, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. Deveney lists the Bulls, Magic and Suns as three clubs that would want Holiday, with Phoenix widely considered a top contender.

Griffin and his staff will soon meet with disgruntled All-Star Anthony Davis to determine their next course of action, and you could expect multiple teams to register interest here as well. These choices task Griffin with a major workload heading into the summer, something many around the league have expressed confidence in his ability to control.

“Griff is a guy who, when you call him, he calls you back,” one prominent NBA agent told Sporting News. “He’ll listen to whatever your issue is, whatever your player’s issue is, no matter how small. So he has that reputation, and that’s not something that New Orleans has had over the years.

“I think he wants to get that team back to that basic thing, just showing how you treat players day in and day out. That’s what you want a team and an organization to be.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division today:

  • The Rockets promoted key front office members to various positions this week, general manager Daryl Morey announced. Rafael Stone was promoted to Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Counsel, while Eli Witus was elevated to assistant general manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. Both will work closely with Morey on the draft, free agency and more.
  • Grizzlies guard Tyler Dorsey hopes his post-trade spark will trigger an opportunity to gain a bigger role with the team next season, Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com details. Memphis acquired Dorsey, who averaged 9.8 points in 22 contests, from the Hawks in exchange for Shelvin Mack back in February. “For me, this was all about taking advantage of my opportunity, because I didn’t get much of an opportunity before I got traded here,” Dorsey said. “So to get here and gradually build into it was great. Some unfortunate injuries happened, so I got a lot more opportunities and tried to take advantage of it and finish strong, the right way to keep building.” Dorsey is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, where he’ll be free to sign with any interested team.
  • The Mavericks are now heading into a pivotal offseason for the organization, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Dallas struck a major trade to acquire Kristaps Porzingis, a restricted free agent this July, in a shocking deal before the trade deadline. “It’s going to be a very interesting and opportunistic summer,” Mavs president Donnie Nelson said, according to Townsend. “We certainly are positioned to make some noise… We’re ridin’ the Luka wave and the Kristaps wave and trying to surround these guys with the right young core.”

Pelicans Notes: Davis, Griffin, Holiday, More

Making his first public appearance today as the Pelicans‘ new executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin offered an interesting take on the Anthony Davis situation.

As Will Guillory of The Athletic relays (via Twitter), Griffin said that after meeting with agent Rich Paul, he believes that Davis could be open to staying in New Orleans. Griffin has yet to speak to Davis directly, but plans to do so in the hopes of establishing whether AD is all-in or all-out on the Pelicans (Twitter link). He’s committed to convincing the 26-year-old that it’s possible to win in New Orleans (Twitter link).

It still seems like a long shot that Davis will be a Pelican to start the 2019/20 season, but Griffin made it clear today that he won’t let the All-NBA big man go without a fight, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. As Kushner notes (via Twitter), New Orleans’ new head of basketball operations doesn’t think the Davis well is poisoned, and believes Paul is excited to work together.

Here’s more from Griffin’s introductory presser:

  • According to Griffin, he made some “outrageous” demands during his meeting with the Pelicans, and the team was on board, giving him confidence that owner Gayle Benson is 100% committed to the franchise’s success (Twitter link via Kushner). Griffin provided some clues at the changes he wants to make, mentioning his desire to invest in areas such as analytics, player performance, and the medical department (Twitter link via Kushner).
  • Griffin is excited about several of the players currently under contract with the Pelicans, singling out Jrue Holiday as someone who represents everything the Pelicans want to be (Twitter link via Guillory). The former Cavaliers GM said he “absolutely” feels as if Holiday is a foundational piece for the club (Twitter link via Kushner).
  • Responding to the idea of New Orleans as a small-market team, Griffin said that it would mean more to win in a “small” market, adding that it’s “bulls–t” to say winning in New Orleans isn’t possible (Twitter link via Guillory).
  • Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha said the Pelicans looked at more than 100 candidates for the job before hiring Griffin (Twitter link via Kushner). Obviously, the club narrowed that list down to a much smaller group before beginning interviews. Griffin, who has been a candidate for other front office openings, said it took him about a half-hour in the interview room for him to realize that the Pelicans’ job was the one he really wanted (Twitter link via Kushner).

Pelicans Notes: Davis, Holiday, Payton, Randle

While it has long been considered a formality that the Pelicans will move Anthony Davis during the offseason, the star center acknowledged today that, with his contract set to run through at least 2020, it’s not a given that he’ll be playing for a new team next fall.

“I’m under contract still,” Davis said, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. “I have a year left. Obviously it’s a possibility it could happen. I don’t have ill will towards anybody. I know that it’s a possibility that next year I could be here as well. So I can’t be mad if I’m here next year.”

Davis, who said that he has no regrets about requesting a trade from the Pelicans earlier this year, admitted that the saga was a “wild” experience, but said he’s excited to see what the future holds. Davis’ future figures to be in the hands of New Orleans’ next general manager — while Danny Ferry assumed interim GM duties, Dell Demps‘ permanent replacement has yet to be hired.

“Seeing who the Pelicans make their GM and having a conversation with that person about the future,” Davis said when asked about his next step. “My time here has always been great. I love playing here. It’s something that I will definitely hold in my heart forever, but the next step is waiting on the Pelicans [to fill] that GM job.”

Here’s more on Davis and the Pelicans:

  • As Friedell details within the same article, Davis also attempted to sidestep responsibility for wearing a Looney Tunes shirt reading “That’s All Folks” on the day of what could have been his final game as a Pelican. “I didn’t choose it,” AD said. “I actually didn’t choose it. It was hanging for me already when I put my clothes on.”
  • Addressing the Davis situation, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said the 26-year-old is a “great kid” who got some “bad advice,” Friedell writes in another ESPN.com story. “We’re going to move on regardless of what [happened],” Gentry said. “We’ve got great ownership. We’re going to have great leadership. We got a bunch of guys in there that believe in each other. So it doesn’t matter what [happens], we’re going to be good next year.”
  • In his end-of-season presser, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday said that Demps used to keep him in the loop on major decisions, adding that he hopes the franchise will continue soliciting his input (Twitter link via Will Guillory of The Athletic).
  • Holiday also offered his two cents on free-agents-to-be Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle — he’d like to see the team bring both players back, if possible (Twitter link via Guillory).

Southwest Notes: Bzdelik, Conley, Davis, Holiday

Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni missed a second consecutive game with the stomach flu today, but fortunately for the Rockets, associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik has been able to pick up the slack in D’Antoni’s absence.

Unfortunately, the Rockets do not yet know whether Bzdelik, 66, will return to the team next season after he told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he hasn’t yet thought about his future beyond this season.

“That’s a really good question. I don’t know the answer to it,” Bzdelik said when asked whether he intended to return to the Rockets next season. “First of all, none of us have any guarantees on tomorrow… I work for a great organization, great ownership, great management. I work for a great, great man and basketball coach in Mike. I work with great people. I thoroughly enjoy my job.”

Bzdelik, who retired after the end of last season due to an unspecified personal issue, returned to the Rockets in November.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division this evening:

  • Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian takes a detailed look at the value of Mike Conley to the Memphis franchise in the wake of what could be the final few games of the 31-year-old point guard’s career with the Grizzlies. Additionally, Herrington analyzes some variables that may affect whether the team ultimately trades Conley.
  • While recognizing that Anthony Davis is the greatest player in franchise history, Scott Kushner of The Advocate writes how Davis’ connection with the Pelicans franchise and the city of New Orleans imploded the second he demanded a trade. Both Davis and the Pelicans are sick of losing, but were never able to come up with a joint solution to the problem.
  • In another article for The Advocate, Kushner details how Davis’ inevitable departure may lead to Jrue Holiday being the new face of the Pelicans, a role and challenge that Holiday is ready to embrace. “I’m going to go with it,” Holiday said. “I’m excited to run with it. I guess I’d like to be more involved with decisions and decision-making moving forward.”

Southwest Notes: Holiday, Pelicans, Rockets

Although he has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2018/19 season, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday will still receive a $255K bonus for appearing in at least 66 games and averaging at least 7.3 assists per contest, ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes. Holiday averaged 7.7 APG in 67 games, and also achieved three separate bonuses for his games played, total minutes, and rebounds per game.

As a result of flipping some unlikely to bonuses to likely for 2019/20, Holiday will see his cap hit for next season increase to $26,231,111, according to Marks, who adds that the number could increase by another $100K if the standout guard is named to one of the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • While the Pelicans are no longer vying for a postseason spot, the final couple weeks of the season could go a long way toward determining which players fit into the club’s plans beyond this season, writes Scott Kushner of The Advocate.
  • Elfrid Payton is one Pelicans players whose future remains uncertain. William Guillory of The Athletic takes a closer look at what the future may hold for Payton, who will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • The Rockets‘ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, recently claimed Daniel Hamilton off waivers, tweets Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. Hamilton will be eligible to participate in the postseason for the Vipers, who finished atop the NBAGL’s Western Conference.
  • With the regular season winding down, the Rockets are aiming to trim their rotation to nine players in preparation for the playoffs. However, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details, the club is still figuring out who those nine players will be.