Pelicans Rumors: Are Clippers gathering assets for Anthony Davis?

Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

One of the most interesting Pelicans rumors of the last couple days was that Anthony Davis would be willing to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers if traded there. With LAC making a deal including several draft picks early this morning, are they gearing up for an offer to New Orleans?

The recent Pelicans rumors that rocked the media this week laid out two more teams New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis wants to play for. One of these teams was the Los Angeles Clippers, who just so happened to make a huge trade shortly after this AD news broke.

It’s entirely possible there were no other motives to this move for the Clippers, but it’s interesting that they weren’t really linked to many trade rumors before Anthony Davis announced them as a team he would want to play for. Tobias Harris is on an expiring contract, so it’s completely reasonable to assume they simply made this move just to get something back for him before he left in free agency. But what if there’s more to the story?

The New Orleans Pelicans recently told the Lakers they wanted 4 first round picks and great young players in exchange for Anthony Davis. The Pelicans, who have seemed unwilling to really negotiate with the Lakers throughout this whole process, might have scared the Lakers off for now with those demands, but could the Clippers now offer something close?

The monster asset haul listed above could be a realistic trade package the Los Angeles Clippers might be willing to send the New Orleans Pelicans if a bidding war breaks out for Anthony Davis. But would the Clippers really part with all of this? Anthony Davis is a top 10, arguably top 5 player in the NBA, but could the Clippers even compete in the West with just the addition of Davis? Well:

If the Clippers send Danilo Gallinari to the Pelicans, they’d free up two max contract slots. Kawhi Leonard is the known target for one of those max contracts this offseason, and acquiring Anthony Davis via trade would do nothing but encourage Kawhi that the Clippers are the team he wants to sign with. They’d instantly be one of the favorite title contenders in the Western Conference with a duo like this.

The 3 first round draft picks the Pelicans receive in this hypothetical trade could prove to be very valuable, as the Clippers and Heat picks in the offer could pretty easily end up being lottery picks. The pick from Philadelphia next year would likely end up being late in the first round, but it’s still a whopping third first round pick any way you slice it. The New Orleans Pelicans could retain all these picks, package them together for a better pick, or flip them for another young asset.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the most interesting prospect coming to New Orleans in this deal. He seems primed to be a top point guard in the league in the near future, and pairing him with Jrue Holiday could be deadly. Montrezl Harrell has improved exponentially this year and could be a starter for the Pelicans, and Danilo Gallinari can light up the scoreboard any given night.

Next. Will Davis Be Moved By Deadline?. dark

The Los Angeles Clippers could have made their trade early this morning with no ulterior motives other than to get something in return for Tobias Harris before his contract expires, but it seems all too convenient that they’re also now stockpiling draft picks and are on the path to opening up two max contract slots. The New Orleans Pelicans should keep their phone lines open just in case as the Anthony Davis Trade Sweepstakes approaches the trade deadline.