News broke Monday morning that Anthony Davis has officially requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. Which teams should be most excited by the news?
The shadow of Anthony Davis’ happiness in New Orleans and willingness to sign a contract extension has been looming over the NBA for months. This morning, Adrian Wojnarowski did as Woj does, and casually informed Twitter that Davis had just informed New Orleans he would not sign an extension when it was formally offered this summer and that he would like to be traded from the spiraling Pelicans.
This story has been building for long enough that we’ve been tracking it with an Official Anthony Davis Doomsday Clock. Every team in the NBA has been preparing, at some level, for this moment and several teams have to be absolutely thrilled at this news. If you were to rank teams by their excitement, obviously the Pelicans would be a distant 30th. A ways ahead of them would be teams like the Warriors, Rockets or Bucks, who would be absurdly unlikely to acquire Davis but whose path to a potential title could be complicated by him relocating to a rival.
At the top of the list, you’d have to expect the Lakers to be pouring some mimosas this morning. Their interest in Davis is among the NBA’s worst-kept secrets and this just clears one more obstacle (the next one is convincing the Pelicans that Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are still future stars). Behind the Lakers are the Celtics who are reportedly interested in Davis, have the pieces to pull off a deal but would have to wait until after July 1 to make it work without trading Kyrie Irving as well.
Teams like Philadelphia, New York, Denver and Miami could all put together intriguing trade packages for New Orleans but would likely need assurances from Davis that he’d be happy with the deal and willing to sign an extension there, otherwise they’d risk mortgaging the future to find themselves in the same place as the Pelicans.
The truth is, 29 teams are looking over their books right now, trying to figure out what they could sacrifice to make a player for one of the best players in the league. One team is crushed, and everyone else has a little pep in their step.