Anthony Davis Is Leaving The New Orleans Pelicans
Let’s look at some hypothetical destinations for him and his talents.
In his first game this season, against the Denver Nuggets, Anthony Davis dropped the following stat-line: 50 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 4 blocks, and just 3 turnovers, while shooting 17/34 from the field and 16/17 from the FT line. The Pelicans, however, would not be able to defend their home court and would lose 102–107.
In early October, I wrote an article outlining a storyline to watch for each team. My storyline to follow for the New Orleans Pelicans was Anthony Davis’ discontent with the Pelicans organization and rumours, or at least suggestions, of him leaving. With that monster stat-line dampened by a loss, and two more losses since then — albeit to the Warriors and Spurs — it’s already apparent that the likelihood of AD continuing to spit out gaudy stat-lines is as likely as it is for the Pelicans to continue racking up losses. He deserves better. So, here are some imaginary scenarios of AD on another team:
Let’s try to be somewhat realistic and not put Anthony Davis on the Warriors. With that being said, Anthony Davis to the Bulls! In case you didn’t know, he is from Chicago and he clearly loves his hometown. On the court, the fit also works quite well: he has a pass-first PG in Rondo, a battle-tested champion in D-Wade, another young star who can guard the LeBrons and Durants of the world in Jimmy Butler, and a defensive-minded center who he has played with before in Robin Lopez. The Bulls have also accumulated a nice crop of young prospects that make a sign-and-trade scenario plausible and if the Bulls perform better than expected this season, it’s not a stretch to think that thoughts of returning home to Chicago would creep into his mind. He would also be in the Eastern Conference with less gruelling competition on a night-to-night basis, which would greatly improve his odds of winning a title.
Imagine an Anthony Davis — Damian Lillard pick-and-roll. If you’re a defender faced with defending that, what do you do? Dame is one of the best 3-pt shooters in the league, Anthony Davis is dangerous from mid-range, both of them can take you off the dribble, and the lob would also be in play. Saying that is a dilemma would be an understatement. Dame and AD also entered the league in the same draft and have both become one of the top young superstars in the league, and you can bet both of them are eager to win. The Blazers also have a good coach in Terry Stotts, a good GM in Neal Olshey, a great 3rd option in C.J. McCollum, and other solid role players to help.
Let’s say Anthony Davis wants to team up with another superstar. There aren’t too many teams that A) have a superstar, and B) have a void at PF that begs for AD to fill, i.e., the Kings (for other reasons, as well), the Spurs, the Knicks, and the Wolves, to name a few. OKC, however, does have both. Russ would greatly reduce AD’s offensive burden (and vice-versa) and he would also have a defensive stud to play next to in Steven Adams, as well as a solid coach in Billy Donovan. Victor Oladipo would be a great 3rd option and the Thunder, like the Bulls, also have some young talent that could make a sign-and-trade scenario plausible. Davis would also have a proven GM in Sam Presti, which would be the first one he’s had since he entered the league, because signing Solomon Hill and E’Twaun Moore is not good enough, Dell Demps.
Honorable Mentions: Indiana and Houston
Thoughts? Where do you think Anthony Davis should go? Should he even leave or should other players come to him? Comment below!