Pelicans open to shipping out last remaining asset from Anthony Davis trade

The New Orleans Pelicans traded Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019. Five years later, that trade is coming full circle.
Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans
Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

In a deal that was first reported in June of 2019, the New Orleans Pelicans completed perhaps the most significant trade of the past five years. New Orleans made the bold decision to trade franchise player Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for a haul of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks.

Five years later, the Lakers have won a championship and reached a second Conference Finals, while the Pelicans are preparing to start fresh.

New Orleans traded Ball in August of 2021 to the Chicago Bulls for Tomáš Satoranský, Garrett Temple, and draft compensation. Hart was shipped out just six months later in a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers that sent CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell to the Pelicans.

According to Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, the last domino could soon fall as the Pelicans explore trade options with the intention of sending Ingram, the last remaining acquisition from the Davis trade, elsewhere.

It's worth noting that the talks between the Kings and Pelicans are at an exploratory stage, but the fact that discussions have gotten that far raises some alarms.

Brandon Ingram could be on his way out of New Orleans

On paper, the Pelicans have one of the best six-man rotations in the NBA. McCollum and Dejounte Murray form one of the best backcourts in the Association, Ingram and Zion Williamson are a high-level tandem at the forward spots, and Herbert Jones and Trey Murphy III are top-tier role players.

The Pelicans could look to move Jones and Murphy into bigger roles, however, which would likely make Ingram the odd man out in any potential discussions.

In terms of what type of return the Pelicans could receive, Scotto reports that the Kings have dangled a consistent trade package in their leaguewide negotiations. It centers around Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, and draft compensation, potentially even including 2024 first-round selection Devin Carter.

The Kings might be reluctant to include Carter in potential trade discussions after he unexpectedly fell to them at No. 13 overall, but it's an interesting package—albeit somewhat underwhelming.

Barnes and Huerter would add depth in terms of three-point shooting, while Carter has high-level defensive potential. New Orleans also has a full rotation with Jones, McCollum, Murray, Murphy, and Williamson filling five spots already, making quality role players far more desirable.

If New Orleans' goal is to bridge the gap between contender and pretender, however, then trading Ingram, an All-Star, for limited short-term value lacks appeal.

The counter to that argument, of course, is that Sacramento has reached the playoffs just once since 2006. As such, if any team has draft picks that could be of significant long-term value to the Pelicans, it's the Kings.

Regardless of what the Pelicans choose to do in this scenario, however, the finishing touches could soon be placed on the Anthony Davis trade—and a contender-level roster could be built without any of the original acquisitions.