Moore: Why the Pelicans Must Wait Until This Summer to Trade Anthony Davis


Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Anthony Davis

Jan 29, 2019, 07:55 PM EST
  • On Monday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Pelicans star Anthony Davis will not re-sign with the team and wants a trade.
  • The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 7, and below I lay out all the reasons why the Pelicans should wait to make a move until next summer.

Well, Happy New Year, Pelicans fans. Looks like Rich Paul’s resolution was to screw you over.

The agent for LeBron James and Anthony Davis informed the Pelicans on Friday that Davis will not re-sign as a free agent and formally requested a trade. Paul then shared that information with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported it Monday morning.

The Davis Chase is on.

(The Brow Down? The Brow-sing? We need a nickname.)

So now that Paul has officially ruined their leverage by leaking this information, hurting the Pelicans in every trade negotiation they can have, the question becomes what should New Orleans do, besides pour themselves a good stiff drink?

Let’s start right here: The Pelicans can’t trade Anthony Davis to the Boston Celtics until this summer.

There’s a stipulation in the CBA called the “Rose Rule,” which says you can’t acquire two players at a certain level of contract. The Celtics already have Kyrie Irving on one. So they are unable to trade for Davis… until July 1.

Which is why, if the Pelican have any sense whatsoever, this deal shouldn’t happen until July 1, unless they get an absolutely can’t-miss offer. I’m talking “a top-five player in the NBA” offer, which obviously isn’t happening.

Let’s go over the reasons to wait.


Rule No. 1 in the NBA: Don’t trade with Danny Ainge.

Ainge took four great picks from the Brooklyn Nets and set them back a decade.

He dealt a top-five MVP candidate in Isaiah Thomas and a first-round pick (along with Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic) and still managed to get the absolute best of the deal. Thomas and Crowder aren’t even in Cleveland anymore.

He traded Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green, and then flipped him for a first-round pick, which he may wind up using to acquire… Anthony Davis.

He managed to trade for Kevin Garnett without having to give up Rajon Rondo, for crying out loud.

And yet, you have to wait for Ainge.

As of now, obviously the biggest suitor for Davis is the Lakers. Their best offer would be all four young players — Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart — and that won’t be the starting offer.

To get the kind of offers the Pelicans want on the board, they need the Celtics. Boston doesn’t even need to include Jayson Tatum.

Jaylen Brown, Guerschon Yabusele, Terry Rozier, the Memphis pick, the Clippers’ first-round pick they own and their own pick gives the Pelicans a bevy of stuff without even really hitting the Celtics’ depth all that badly.

The Celtics will trump almost any offer that comes in the next 10 days just out of sheer availability.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jayson Tatum

Then there’s Tatum.

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