The Toronto Raptors are not afraid to take huge risks when it comes to improving their roster, proven by their decision to trade for Kawhi Leonard last summer without getting an assurance that he intends to stay beyond the 2018-19 NBA season. Now that another superstar, New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis, has become officially available on the trading block, the Raptors are not expected to go quiet before the February NBA trade deadline.
The Raptors may not be on the list of his preferred trade destinations, but they will surely still try making a call to the Pelicans about Anthony Davis, who recently informed the team that he has no intention of signing a massive contract extension that they are planning to offer next summer and wanted to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship title. According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, the Raptors are regarded as a “dark horse team” who is “well-positioned” to engage in a blockbuster deal with the Pelicans involving their lone superstar.
“One dark horse team already has proved willing to make such a trade and is well-positioned to go for it: the Toronto Raptors. Masai Ujiri is never afraid to swing for the fences, and a combination of Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and Davis could potentially make the Raptors good enough to win the title this season. A deal led by Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby (along with Serge Ibaka or Jonas Valanciunas) would at least have to make New Orleans think. It would make Toronto the prohibitive favorite to make the NBA Finals and good enough to go toe-to-toe with the Golden State Warriors.”
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
The potential acquisition of Anthony Davis will tremendously improve the Raptors’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a reliable scoring option next to Kawhi Leonard as well as an incredible defender under the basket. This season, the 25-year-old center/power forward is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks, and 1.7 steals on 50.8 percent shooting from the field and 32.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The “Big Three” of Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyle Lowry will not only give the Raptors a legitimate chance of making their first appearance in the NBA Finals, but it will also help them in beating the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in a best-of-seven series.
However, as of now, the Pelicans haven’t given any hint regarding what type of trade asset they are looking for in exchange for Anthony Davis. Also, there is a strong possibility that the Pelicans could wait for the 2019 NBA offseason to deal Davis so teams like the Boston Celtics could join the bidding.