Anthony Davis became the center of trade rumors after his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, reportedly informed the New Orleans Pelicans that the All-Star big man has no interest in signing a massive contract extension next summer and wanted to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship title. In a potential deal involving Davis, the Pelicans are expected to demand trade assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.
As of now, the Boston Celtics are considered the team that can offer the Pelicans the best trade package for Anthony Davis. However, unless they are willing to part ways with Kyrie Irving, the Celtics can’t trade for Davis until July 1. In terms of trade offer, Tim Bontemps of ESPN believes that the Philadelphia 76ers “could potentially surpass” what the Celtics can send to New Orleans by using Ben Simmons as a trade chip to acquire Davis.
“And now we come to the single most intriguing potential Anthony Davis trade on the board: AD to the Sixers for Ben Simmons. The one thing that could potentially surpass Boston’s offers down the road would be if Philadelphia truly chose to go all-in with its current group by pairing Davis with Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler. Simmons, meanwhile, would be the kind of high-upside young star who could give New Orleans an anchor to build around in a post-Davis future.”
Yahoo Sources: Lakers and Knicks preparing an offer to Pelicans for star Anthony Davis and why Celtics aren’t a desired preference. https://t.co/f47Afbh3d0— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 28, 2019
Trading Ben Simmons is undeniably a tough decision for the Sixers, but it is something that they should consider if it means acquiring a player of Anthony Davis’ caliber. Unlike Simmons, Davis can shoot the ball from beyond the arc which makes him a better fit with Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler. The acquisition of Davis will not increase the Sixers’ chance of fully dominating the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference, but it will also greatly help them in beating the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in a best-of-seven series.
However, before engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Pelicans, the Sixers should first get an assurance from Anthony Davis that he intends to stay long term in Philadelphia. Davis has a player option on his current contract that will enable him to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
Meanwhile, sending Anthony Davis to the Sixers for a package centered on Ben Simmons is a no-brainer for the Pelicans. Simmons could be the centerpiece of the title-contending team that the Pelicans are planning to build in the post-Davis era. Aside from Simmons, the Pelicans could also demand multiple draft assets from the Pelicans for their lone superstar.