At the moment, the Los Angeles Lakers are still considered by many as the top favorites to acquire New Orleans Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis in the 2019 offseason, with teams such as the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks not too far behind, as noted last month by Forbes. However, there could be a few so-called “mystery teams” in the mix, and a new report suggests that the Denver Nuggets could be among them if they build on the interest they supposedly had in the All-NBA big man prior to the February trade deadline.
On Friday, Silver Screen and Roll‘s Anthony Irwin wrote that he asked Sam Amick of The Athletic on a recent episode of the Locked on NBA podcast about what he thinks of the Nuggets trading for Davis in the event they don’t get as far as expected in this year’s playoffs. According to Irwin, Amick responded by saying that Denver did “[have] interest” in Davis and inquired about him after he made his trade request public, and that the team might have had a chance because of their “aggressive” front office. As Amick further noted, Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly had previously worked for the Pelicans and was still in New Orleans when they made Davis the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Per Amick, the Nuggets have the right “mentality” to suit a player like Davis, whom he described as a “pretty low-key” player whose main goal, nonetheless, is to win an NBA championship.
“So I think the only question there would be that: Is there any way at all that there’s a deal that doesn’t involve [Nikola] Jokic. That’s the one, I just don’t see them coming off of Nikola. But, I think, for sure, the interest is there. That’s something they’ve been kicking around.”
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 19, 2019
Commenting on the chances of the Nuggets eventually making a deal for Anthony Davis, Silver Screen and Roll’s Irwin wrote that it’s the mystery teams who usually end up with a highly-regarded player via trade or free agency. He cited the examples of the Toronto Raptors, who were able to trade for Kawhi Leonard last summer despite initially not being considered among his top suitors, and the Oklahoma City Thunder, who traded for Paul George in the summer of 2017, then re-signed him last offseason despite all the rumors linking him to the hometown Los Angeles Lakers.
With regard to hypothetical trade scenarios, Irwin suggested that Denver could offer wingmen Gary Harris and Will Barton, forward Michael Porter Jr., and two first-round picks to the Pelicans. This is similar to a previous trade idea proposed last month by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, as he mentioned Porter, Harris, and guard Jamal Murray as young players whom the Nuggets could offer to New Orleans in a trade package for their prized big man, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.