Did Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery change Anthony Davis’ thought process in any way? After the Pelicans leaped over several favored teams for the No. 1 pick, the immediate question the basketball world asked was: “Is Davis really going to bail on an opportunity to play alongside Zion Williamson?”
According to Shams Charania shortly after the shocking reveal, the answer is yes. In a tweet, The Athletic NBA Insider claimed that New Orleans’ last No. 1 pick’s “stance on a trade has not changed.” However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst speculates that this offseason drama in the Bayou is not done yet.
He spoke on ESPN Wednesday morning about how newly-hired president David Griffin will make overtures to keep the 6-time All-Star in the fold.
You read that right: Windhorst is stating that a maximum contract extension of $230 million is on the table. Davis is now entering the 4th year of a 5-year, $127 million deal. Last season, according to Spotrac, he earned $25,434,263. Doubling his earnings could provide a hefty financial incentive to stay.
The only other possibility that Windhorst sees happening is a trade with New York, who is projected to have over $72 million in cap space this offseason. That financial breathing room, plus the big media market, has been the fuel that has ignited rumors about Kevin Durant, Irving and now Davis to head to the Big Apple.
As the Knicks have the No. 3 pick after Tuesday night’s lottery, they still hold a valuable trade piece, as well as decent young guards in Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina. Windhorst stated that the Lakers are probably out of it due to the No. 4 pick holding far less value.
“I think Knicks are still in position if they want to trade for AD. For better or worse for LAL fans this draft breaks at 3. Wonderful day for LAL to move up from 11 to 4. W/ the 4th pick the Pels still dont like that trade w/ the LAL & still dont wanna do businnes w/ the LAL.”
Here’s the other recent speculation about Davis’ future destination.
Anthony Davis Trade: Future Destinations & Landing Spots
Chris Mannix of SI.com actually thinks the Lakers’ draft pick is a valuable asset. He thinks Griffin should wait to see who Los Angeles drafts so he can ask for a trade on draft night.
The Lakers needed a win, and they got one. They needed another trade chip to dangle in front of New Orleans for Davis, and they got a big one. Griffin is keeping his Davis cards close to the vest—on Tuesday, Griffin reiterated his position that he hopes to convince Davis to stay—but unless Davis agrees to an extension, he’s going on the block. And the Lakers just became a more attractive trade partner.
They could keep the pick, too. Say what you want about Pelinka—and his role in assembling last season’s malfunctioning Lakers roster warrants criticism—but his drafts have gone well. Lonzo Ball has been a mixed bag, but Ball has All-Star potential, and now an assistant coach in Jason Kidd who knows what it’s like to be a 6-6 point guard with an untrustworthy jump shot. Pelinka has Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart on his resume, too.
The other team with a small avenue to ask for Davis on the trade market is Boston. According to Andrew Lopez of NOLA.com, last night’s draft reaped future dividends.
In a way, the Celtics still managed to pull out a small victory in Tuesday’s lottery. The Memphis Grizzlies’ pick was top-eight protected this season, top-six protected next year and unprotected in 2021.
Since the Grizzlies jumped to No. 2, Boston still owns the rights to the pick and can still use that as a trade chip.
Boston, still hoping to convince Irving to stay, could offer any combination of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams (who prepped at North Caddo) as well the a high-number deal like Al Horford (one year left at $30,123,014) if he opts in.
That would help Boston be able to take on Solomon Hill in any possible deal. Boston also owns the No. 14, 20 and 22 picks in this year’s draft.
These options don’t look to be available right now to Griffin, who is working to build a starting lineup that could include Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson, Julius Randle and Davis.
Source: New feed