The trade speculation that has surrounded Pelicans forward, Anthony Davis, all season has reached its peak. Monday morning news broke over social media that Davis has requested a trade and that his preference is to play on a team that can contend for a championship.
Every NBA team should, and most likely are, preparing their best offers to entice the Pelicans into a deal. Anthony Davis is a top five player in the world, not just the NBA, which makes it hard to imagine a deal that would convince New Orleans to trade their superstar talent.
Looking around the NBA, the Lakers and the Celtics could start the conversation with the Pelicans front office. Los Angeles has been linked to Davis since the start of the season. Expectations for the Lakers skyrocketed for them when they signed LeBron James back in the summer; however, after missing out on Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, at least for the time being, L.A is still searching for another star to pair alongside LeBron. The problem is, who from the Lakers' young core will be enough for New Orleans?
There are so many reasons that a trade to the Lakers makes sense. Rich Paul is both the agent for Davis and LeBron which could help facilitate a deal between the two front offices. In addition, if the Pelicans are after future assets and young players, the Lakers have a lot to offer.
Ironically for the Lakers, the only team they could have to seriously compete with is the Boston Celtics. Rumors of pairing Kyrie Irving with Anthony Davis should scare the Lakers enough to throw the kitchen sink at New Orleans. Boston has just as many assets and even more future picks to offer in a deal for Anthony Davis. However, with Irving on the last year of his deal, it's not a certainty that he returns in a Celtic uniform, which could be a deal breaker for Davis.
In contrast, the team that has the biggest decision to make is the New Orleans Pelicans. Currently, the front office has all the power. It's bitter-sweet because once in a generation talent is being traded away, but teams are very willing to part ways with for a chance to land Davis. He has one full year remaining on his current deal, which may spark the interest of smaller market teams that think they could have a chance to convince Davis to re-sign long term in the summer of 2020.