If you thought an Anthony Davis trade was going to be swiftly executed this offseason, you were sorely mistaken. Things have gotten even more complicated now that the New Orlean Pelicans have won the no. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery.
With Zion Williamson all but certain to be on his way, Pelicans front office boss David Griffin will be able to double down on his plan to convince AD to stay in New Orleans by keeping him around another year and giving him time to mesh with the Duke phenom.
But perhaps that's not the best idea.
“[David Griffin] wants to convince Anthony Davis to stay with the Pelicans … his model right now is Oklahoma City with Paul George ... their mode in New Orleans is to keep Anthony Davis.” per @wojespn. pic.twitter.com/2P92wYMvSu— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 15, 2019
In an interview with ESPN after winning the lottery, Griffin brought up the idea by saying, "We can be Oklahoma City with Paul George. We can hold onto [Davis] and let him see what we really are. [Getting the No. 1 pick] changes how quickly he can buy into it. It gets us closer. Every day, maybe he believes a little more."
The thing is, Paul George didn't ask to be traded away from the Thunder. He was traded to OKC and played a year there with a clean slate before choosing to re-sign in free agency. Meanwhile, Davis already seems like he is burning all the bridges on his way out.
There's also no proof that Davis is remotely open to changing his mind. If Griffin decides to wait too long with a trade, the available offers will decrease in value – and if he makes the really bold decision of keeping AD until the end of his contract, it could truly be a disaster.
The New Orleans Pelicans are now set up to be Zion Williamson’s franchise to lift, and No. 1 pick could ease potential trade of Anthony Davis. His stance on a trade has not changed, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
While Griffin should certainly try to convince Davis once more with Zion incoming, he shouldn't exactly bank on Davis changing his mind. His main focus should be building around Zion going forward.
There will be plenty of teams eager to throw their assets at the Pelicans this summer. If there's a good offer on the table, Griffin can't hesitate on moving AD.