Anthony Davis Trade Options: 3 way deal with Pelicans, Celtics, & Pacers

Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Until the summer, all we can do is speculate about trade ideas for the New Orleans Pelicans to unload Anthony Davis. Here’s a three team trade idea involving the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers.

With Anthony Davis previously mentioning that all 29 NBA teams are potential trade destinations for the New Orleans Pelicans’ all-star, the floodgates of rumors and speculation have been opened.

Everyone is talking about what team could offer the best package for Davis, but there isn’t much scuttlebutt out there about potential three team deals. The Boston Celtics have said Jayson Tatum is on the table in trade negotiations, but could they get another team in on the action to help facilitate a trade?

Enter the Indiana Pacers, the team that seems to surprise everyone with their high level of competition despite the season ending injury their star player, Victor Oladipo, suffered earlier in the year. While the Pacers are still currently 4th in the East, no one really expects them to make a Finals run this season with some of the injuries they’ve been dealing with.

The Pacers will be looking to make a deep playoff run next season, and with the impending return of Oladipo paired with how good they’ve still been without him this current year, there’s no reason to doubt them in 2019-2020. They’ll be shifting into a sort of “win now” mentality with Oladipo and young defensive powerhouse Myles Turner coming into their own alongside a nice chunk of cap space to retool their roster with.

Their top two point guards Darren Collison and Cory Joseph are both on expiring deals. So are Tyreke Evans, Thad Young, Wesley Matthews, and Bojan Bogdanovic, all key parts of their lineup and rotations. Going into free agency, their biggest needs will be point guards and wings. They’re set at the center position with Myles Turner and blossoming backup 5, Domantas Sabonis, which is where things get interesting for the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis Saga.

There’s growing concern that the Pacers might have to move on from either Turner or Sabonis. They’ll both command hefty salaries very soon. In fact, the Pacers already gave Turner a nice extension and pay raise earlier this season. Since they have more pressing roster needs outside of the center spot, could the Pelicans perhaps pry one of these young talents away from Indiana while still landing Jayson Tatum from Boston?

Here’s a potential trade offer that might make a lot of sense for all three teams involved:

The Celtics return one player in this deal, but he’s clearly the best player involved and the type of superstar they’ve been hoarding assets seemingly forever for.

The Pacers and their fans would be very reluctant to trade away Sabonis, but in this scenario, they address some more pressing needs. Next season, they could roll out a starting five of Marcus Smart, Victor Oladipo, Jaylen Brown, Thad Young (if re-signed), and Myles Turner. The Pacers already have the second best defense in the league in terms of Defensive Rating, and the addition of Smart and Brown would make them somehow even better. This is a team that would absolutely suffocate almost any opponent night in and night out.

The New Orleans Pelicans get the guy everyone is dreaming about them getting in exchange for Anthony Davis with Jayson Tatum being included, plus Domantas Sabonis. If you haven’t kept up with Sabonis the last couple of years, he’s started developing into an absolute stud since coming to Indiana in the Paul George trade. He’ll get votes for Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year once this season is all said and done.

This gives the Pelicans a Top 3 of Jrue Holiday, Jayson Tatum, and Domantas Sabonis, which is a team worth being very excited about. These are three hard working, small ego guys that could turn into a bonafide Big 3 as they grow together and build some chemistry.

In this situation, the Pelicans likely would get a draft pick or two added in with Tatum and Sabonis, and possibly another young asset from the Celtics. There’s a lot to like here, even if it isn’t one of the typical trade offers we’ve seen thrown around to this point.

To be clear, there’s nothing floating around in NBA trade rumor-land to give any credibility to this particular trade even being thought about by anyone. But it’s a deal that could prove to be beneficial for all involved, so it’s one that’s not totally outrageous to speculate about when trying to predict what the future could hold in Anthony Davis trade discussions. Taking advantage of a third team’s roster situation could work in New Orleans’ favor if a deal like this takes shape.

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The New Orleans Pelicans could get creative in Anthony Davis trade talks to try to maximize the value of the package of assets they’ll ultimately get in return for him. If a three team deal is considered, this is an offer the Pelicans should pick up the phone and inquire about.