Despite losing Kawhi Leonard last summer, the San Antonio Spurs still managed to remain competitive in the 2018-19 NBA season. As of now, the Spurs are tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference and set to reach the postseason for the 22nd consecutive year. However, the Spurs won’t be contended just being a playoff team and are still expected to find ways to upgrade their current roster next summer.
According to Zack Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Spurs may consider joining the pursuit for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis in the 2019 NBA offseason. The Spurs may not have a better collection of trade assets than the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, but they should still try making an offer to the Pelicans for Davis. Acquiring Davis will tremendously improve the Spurs’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a higher chance of making a huge noise in the deep Western Conference.
This season, Anthony Davis is averaging 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals on 51.7 percent shooting from the field and 33.1 percent from beyond the arc. In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Spurs will be sending a trade package including DeMar DeRozan, Lonnie Walker IV, and a 2019 first-round pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“DeRozan is both a notable name and a star-level producer. He’s one of only eight players to score at least 10,000 points since the start of 2013-14, and he’s become a prolific passer the past two seasons (5.6 assists). He could give the Pelicans their post-Davis focal point on offense and at the front gate. Walker is a mystery, and the pick will probably be a dart throw in the 20s, but New Orleans needs future assets, and those meet that threshold.”
New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis is on a minutes restriction & Charles Barkley hates it - https://t.co/iV5aMSlmgt— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) March 26, 2019
“He’s a great player, but we need him in the league,” Barkley tells me. “Not sitting out playing a couple minutes a night.” pic.twitter.com/1CARlN3UGG
A superstar-for-superstar trade is something that the Pelicans should consider, especially if they are still planning to remain competitive in the post-Anthony Davis era. DeMar DeRozan will give the Pelicans an All-Star caliber talent who could replace Davis as the focal point of their offense. Aside from DeRozan, the deal will also enable the Pelicans to add a young player in Lonnie Walker IV and a first-round selection in the 2019 NBA Draft that could be part of their long-term future.
Trading for Anthony Davis will be a risky move for the Spurs since he could only be a one-year rental. Davis has a player option on his contract that will enable him to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. However, though the Spurs aren’t on the list of his preferred trade destination, playing under one of the greatest coaches of all time, Gregg Popovich, could help convince Davis to stay long-term in San Antonio.