The New Orleans Pelicans could be headed into an inevitable rebuild after Anthony Davis informed them through his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, that he has no intention of signing the massive contract extension they are planning to offer next summer. Davis reportedly wants to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship title.
Anthony Davis’ trade demand is undeniably bad news for Pelicans’ fans, especially those who are expecting that the All-Star big man will be the one to bring the first Larry O’Brien Trophy in New Orleans. However, even before Davis officially requested a trade, it seems like the Pelicans have already started preparing for a future without him on their roster. In his recent podcast, Zach Lowe of ESPN revealed that the Pelicans have made Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, and E’Twaun Moore available on the trading block.
“Over the weekend, I had heard from two separate teams that Mirotic, Randle, and Moore had all been made available for picks,” Lowe said, as transcribed by Andrew Lopez of the Times-Picayune. “New Orleans is known for perhaps playing some misdirection, so teams didn’t know what to think of this. One team made of it, their guess and/or impression was, New Orleans was trying to get picks that it then flips for a big, big piece in a save-the-season trade.”
At first, teams who had trade discussions with the Pelicans were confused about why they are shopping Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, and E’Twaun Moore, but as of now, it’s very clear that New Orleans is trying to collect trade assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. With the Pelicans planning to take a different route, keeping their veterans no longer makes any sense. Also, both Randle and Mirotic could hit the free agency market, so trading them before the February NBA trade deadline will be the Pelicans’ best option rather than losing them in the summer of 2019 without getting anything in return.
Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, and E’Twaun Moore could be great additions to NBA teams who want to strengthen their chance of winning the NBA championship title this season. With their current performance, it won’t be hard for the Pelicans to acquire a future first-round pick or a young player in exchange for their veterans. Now that the Anthony Davis-era is near coming to an end, the Pelicans must be hoping to acquire assets that can immediately bring them back to title contention.