But the Los Angeles Clippers trading Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons this week, just months after signing him to a five-year, $173 million contract, showed how quickly things can change in the NBA. And at least one general manager believes the Pelicans should give serious thought to trading Davis this offseason despite him being one of the league’s best players.
“A.D. is obviously a great player, but they’re stuck and his free agency is coming faster than you think,” one GM told Sporting News. “It is hard to operate under the gun with a situation like that, so it is something they’ll need to at least explore this summer. If (Pelicans GM) Dell (Demps) stays on, he is going to want to find ways to keep building and maybe even take a chance on keeping DeMarcus (Cousins). But if Dell goes, there are four or five teams hoping hard for a fire sale.”
The Pelicans would make the playoffs if the season ended Wednesday, but DeMarcus Cousins just suffered a season-ending injury and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, casting some doubt over whether New Orleans will be able to keep its formidable frontcourt intact.
The Pelicans already have roughly $26 million committed to Jrue Holiday for next season, as well as $32 million committed to the trio of Solomon Hill, Omer Asik and E’Twaun Moore. It’s entirely possible New Orleans could look to rebuild with a new front office, in which case trading Davis wouldn’t be out of the question.
Now, if the Pelicans decide to trade Davis, there almost certainly will be a bidding war. That said, they’ll also need to be open-minded. Multiple teams reportedly have attempted to engage the Pelicans in trade talks regarding Davis in the past year, but one league executive told Sporting News, “The conversations end quickly, as I understand.”
Sporting News lists the Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls as teams that could head into next week’s NBA trade deadline with a potential summer blockbuster for Davis in mind.
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