Despite losing DeMarcus Cousins in a season-ending injury, Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans succeeded in earning a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference last season. The Pelicans swept the No. 3 seeded Portland Trail Blazers in the first round before being eliminated by the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, in the Western Conference semifinals.
After realizing their capability to contend, the Pelicans are definitely aiming to reach a higher level in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. However, the Pelicans must redouble their efforts if they want to achieve their goal. The competition in the Western Conference is expected to get tougher now that LeBron James is playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Also, in the recent free agency period, the Pelicans lost two of their key players — Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins.
According to Steve Smith — who works as a studio analyst for NBA TV— the Pelicans may consider taking a different route if they struggle next season. Smith opens up the possibility that the Pelicans will trade Anthony Davis if they find themselves out of the playoff picture and get the “right offer.”
“I think it goes down to his ownership and what direction they are going in,” Smith said, as transcribed by the Express. “I think if the Pelicans are out of the playoff race when the trade deadline comes then they will have to start listening. The body language and also, I think it will be a great year for him, but if you’re not winning, ‘should I stay here?’ Who am I playing with? I think Jrue Holiday is fantastic, Julius Randle is fantastic but they are not [Rajon] Rondo [of the Los Angeles Lakers] and also DeMarcus Cousins [from the Golden State Warriors].”
Of course, these are only Smith’s opinions regarding what could possibly happen should the Pelicans suffer a huge disappointment next season. However, most NBA fans will surely love to see Anthony Davis playing for a team where he has a higher chance of winning an NBA championship title. With the emergence of numerous “Super Teams,” even Davis will definitely agree that a team needs two to three superstars to be considered as a legitimate title contender.
Trading Anthony Davis is undeniably a tough decision for the Pelicans, but it is something that they should strongly consider if they don’t want to remain in a mediocre position in the league. For a player of Davis’ caliber, several NBA teams wouldn’t think twice before offering up valuable trade assets to the Pelicans just to add him to their team.