Since the 2018 NBA offseason, the New Orleans Pelicans have made it clear to the entire league that they have no intention of trading Anthony Davis before the February NBA trade deadline. However, multiple signs are pointing out that Davis will leave New Orleans, and according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the All-Star center won’t sign the supermax extension that the Pelicans are expected to offer next July.
To convince Anthony Davis to stay, the Pelicans should show him that they are serious in building a team that really has the ability to contend for the NBA championship title. The Pelicans should consider chasing at least one superstar who could help Davis turn the Pelicans into a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade targets for the Pelicans is Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kevin Love is still recovering from an injury, but when he returns and proves that he’s 100 percent healthy, the Cavaliers are expected to make him available on the trading block. After spending four seasons playing alongside LeBron James, Love won’t have a hard time sharing the court with Anthony Davis and serve as his sidekick. Love will boost the Pelicans’ performance, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Like Davis, Love can space the floor and has the ability to play both the power forward and the center position.
To acquire Kevin Love, Favale suggested that the Pelicans could engage in a three-team blockbuster trade deal with the Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets. In a proposed trade deal, the Pelicans will receive Love and Rodney Hood, the Cavaliers will get Allen Crabbe, Solomon Hill, Frank Jackson, Shabazz Napier, two 2019 first-round picks, and two 2020 second-round picks, and the Nets will acquire Julius Randle and J.R. Smith.
To push through with the deal, the Pelicans, Nets, and the Cavaliers will be needing to wait until January 23, the date Kevin Love becomes trade-eligible. Also, the Cavaliers will be needing to ask permission from Rodney Hood before engaging him in any trade negotiation.
The deal will not only be beneficial for the Pelicans but also for the Cavaliers and the Nets. For the Cavaliers, trading Kevin Love means that they are ready to take a different route. Acquiring future draft assets will help them speed up the rebuilding process.
Meanwhile, the deal will help the Nets open more salary cap space for the summer of 2019. Julius Randle is expected to exercise his player option to become an unrestricted free agent next July, while J.R. Smith’s contract for the 2019-20 NBA season is only partially guaranteed.