Despite trading their best player, Tobias Harris, to the Philadelphia 76ers before the February NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Clippers still managed to establish an impressive performance in the 2018-19 NBA season, earning the final playoff spot in the deep Western Conference. The Clippers may have suffered an early playoff exit from the hands of the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, but in the 2019 NBA offseason, they have a strong chance of building a roster that can legitimately contend for the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Aside from having enough salary cap space to chase big names in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Clippers also have a plethora of trade assets that they could use to acquire a superstar in a blockbuster deal next summer. According to Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer, the Clippers may consider joining the pursuit for Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Anthony Davis is expected to be the hottest commodity on the trade market next summer. Though the Pelicans made changes in their front office, most people expect the All-Star center to be moved to a new team in the 2019 NBA offseason. The Clippers may not have a better collection of trade assets than the Boston Celtics, but Uggetti believes that the trade package including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Landry Shamet, Danilo Gallinari, and multiple future first-round picks could at least catch the attention of the Pelicans.
“Imagine if the Clippers were to sign Leonard and Durant, or just one of the two, and then decide to maximize their window even more by packaging the rest of their assets for Anthony Davis. It may be more likely than you think. After the Lakers whiffed on forcing a Davis deal at the trade deadline, the sweepstakes now feel wide open. The Clippers’ offer—which would probably have to include Gilgeous-Alexander, Shamet, Danilo Gallinari’s expiring contract, multiple first-rounders, and probably a couple more assets—is good, but it doesn’t feature an elite prospect like the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum.”
The Clippers witnessed Shai Gilgeous-Alexander produce a career-high 25 points in Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors, the team’s best playoff performance by a rookie in more than 40 years.https://t.co/3okh1ngGMz— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) April 22, 2019
The Clippers’ potential offer for Anthony Davis will enable the Pelicans to remain competitive while having two young and talented players, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, who could be part of their long-term future. The Pelicans may not see Gilgeous-Alexander and Shamet as valuable as Jayson Tatum but as Uggetti noted, the Celtics’ pursuit of Davis depends on Kyrie Irving’s decision in the 2019 NBA free agency. If Irving leaves, the Celtics are unlikely to go all-in for Davis, giving teams like the Clippers a better chance of adding the All-Star center to their roster next summer.