When the New Orleans Pelicans decided not to engage in a trade deal with the Los Angeles Lakers before the February NBA trade deadline, the Boston Celtics immediately emerged as the top landing spot for Anthony Davis in the 2019 NBA offseason. Having young and promising talents like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier and a plethora of future first-round picks, the Celtics are believed to be the team who can offer the best trade package to the Pelicans.
However, the Pelicans are still expected to keep all their options and entertain offers from other NBA teams next summer. Aside from the Celtics, one of the NBA teams who have one of the most interesting trade assets is the Phoenix Suns. In the potential deal involving Anthony Davis, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report suggests that the Suns offer a trade package including DeAndre Ayton, T.J. Warren, Josh Jackson, and a future first-round pick.
The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. DeAndre Ayton will be an intriguing acquisition for the Pelicans, especially if they decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, could be the centerpiece of the title contending team the Pelicans are planning to build in the post-Anthony Davis era. Ayton has shown lots of superstar potentials in his ongoing rookie season, averaging 16.5 points, 10.3 rebounds on 58.6 percent shooting from the field.
“Between 2000-01 and 2017-18, just two rookies averaged at least 16 points and 10 rebounds: Blake Griffin and Karl-Anthony Towns. Ayton is on his way to joining that exclusive company, and the 20-year-old might end up another annual All-Star. He’s already a dominant force on the interior, he’s growing as a defender, and he has more shooting range than Phoenix has asked him to show,” Bleacher Report writes.
Last night was Deandre Ayton's 5th 25-point, 12-rebound game. Since 2000, the only other rookies to do that 5+ times are Pau Gasol, Blake Griffin, and Karl-Anthony Towns https://t.co/nwsPTP7ZfP pic.twitter.com/ZjmLAJKe66
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) March 19, 2019
T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson are not just salary cap fillers. Warren and Jackson are only 25 and 22, respectively, and could still be part of the Pelicans’ rebuilding process. With the Suns currently holding the worst record in the Western Conference, it will be a wise move for the Pelicans to demand their 2019 first-round pick in the potential deal involving Anthony Davis.
Trading DeAndre Ayton, T.J. Warren, Josh Jackson, and a future first-round pick for Anthony Davis is undeniably a tough decision for the Suns, but as of now, they should be more serious about surrounding the face of the franchise, Devin Booker, with quality players. Pairing Booker with Davis will give the Suns a strong chance of ending their playoff drought in the 2019-20 NBA season. If they succeed to acquire another superstar in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Suns could turn from a rebuilding team to a legitimate title contender in the Western Conference.