New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis is expected to be the hottest commodity on the trade market in the 2019 NBA offseason. Of all the NBA teams interested in acquiring him, the Boston Celtics are believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package to the Pelicans. The Celtics have a plethora of interesting trade assets that will be very useful for the Pelicans if ever they decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild in the post-Davis era.
The Los Angeles Lakers are still expected to resume their pursuit of Anthony Davis next summer, but it remains questionable if they can come up with a better trade package than what they offered to the Pelicans before the February NBA trade deadline. If there is a team who can outbid the Celtics, it will be the New York Knicks, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
“When New Orleans didn’t trade Davis this month, the window for the Lakers to get him decreased dramatically. Now Boston can offer a far more appealing package than Los Angeles is capable of putting together. And if the Celtics get him, Boston can offer him a chance to win — which he says is his main priority — on a team alongside Irving well into the next decade. The one team that could possibly outbid the Celtics is the Knicks — but only if they manage to win the top pick in the lottery, and with it the chance to draft Duke superstar Zion Williamson.”
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) February 21, 2019
The Knicks tried to engage in trade talks with the Pelicans before the February NBA trade deadline, where they reportedly offered a trade package centered on Kristaps Porzingis for Anthony Davis. Unfortunately, the Pelicans didn’t have any interest in Porzingis, knowing that he will be hitting the free agency market next July. With their failure to make a deal with the Pelicans, the Knicks ended up sending Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.
Though they no longer have Porzingis, the trade assets that the Knicks received from the Mavericks may still look attractive for the Pelicans. However, as Bontemps noted, the only way that the Knicks could get the Pelicans’ attention is if they acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, which could be used to select Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson.
The Knicks have a strong chance of acquiring a lottery pick in June as they currently hold one of the worst records in the league, sitting in the No. 15 spot in the Eastern Conference with an 11-47 record. If the Knicks get the No. 1 pick and use it as the main trade chip in their pursuit of Anthony Davis, the Celtics could be forced to include Jayson Tatum in the trade package that they will offer to the Pelicans.