Deal centered around Ja Morant/Anthony Davis could work for Pelicans

Ja Morant New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ja Morant New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

As the window for trading Anthony Davis approaches, college star Ja Morant is making a case for being a great target for the New Orleans Pelicans.

To this point, the two trades everyone has been talking about in the Anthony Davis/New Orleans Pelicans drama are either a deal with the Boston Celtics centered around Jayson Tatum, or a package from the New York Knicks that features Zion Williamson if the Knicks win the draft lottery. However, Murray State guard Ja Morant is making a case for the #2 overall pick being more valuable than some might have originally thought.

Unless something unthinkable happens, Zion Williamson will be the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Check anyone’s rankings of every player in the NCAA, and Zion is always listed at the top of the mountain. However, Ja Morant’s play as of late has vaulted him into almost certainly being drafted in the Top 3, possibly even second right behind Zion.

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In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Ja Morant proved why he’s one of the best NBA Draft prospects in all of March Madness. He led his 12th seeded Murray State Racers over the 5th seeded Marquette Golden Eagles in a 19 point blowout upset in which Murray State dominated for most of the game. Morant rose to the challenge on a national stage and posted a very rare NCAA Tournament triple-double.

To do something only eight other players in the history of the NCAA Tournament have done is absolutely insane, and really shows just how good Ja Morant could be at the next level. His 17 point, 11 rebound, 16 assist game will be tough to top for anyone else during the rest of March Madness. Several of those 16 assists displayed some absolutely incredible court vision as well, which will be invaluable in the NBA.

For the New Orleans Pelicans, the emergence of Ja Morant is only good news. It means they have another viable trade option should they strike out on trying to trade for Jayson Tatum or the #1 pick to select Zion Williamson. Any deal centered around the #2 overall pick could still be extremely valuable for New Orleans if they use it to select Ja Morant and pair him in the backcourt with Jrue Holiday, who would be the best teacher possible for his NBA development.

If the #1 pick is off the table and the Celtics won’t move Jayson Tatum, there are a handful of teams that will be in play for the #2 pick that might be willing to swap it in return for Anthony Davis. The New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers are all teams that could realistically end up drafting that high, and they are all organizations located in major markets that would hope they could sway Anthony Davis to stay in free agency the following summer.

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As players like Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and Jayson Tatum continue to show their awesome potential NBA value, the New Orleans Pelicans and their fans should be feeling pretty good right now, all things considered. If New Orleans is able to trade Anthony Davis for any of these three players, the future could be extremely promising in the Big Easy for years to come.