Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Monday that All-Star center Anthony Davis has been cleared to return to practice. It wouldn't be hard to make the case that this compilation of young talent may have a better chance into developing into something special than the young pieces the Lakers would send back.
One team that Davis did not list as being open to being traded to was the Boston Celtics, who wouldn't even be able to put together an offer for him until the summer.
In addition to the Celtics getting to use their stash of goodies, the Pelicans will have more clarity on exactly how good the 2019 draft picks any team could offer will be if they wait until the summer.
The Lakers are one of four Davis reportedly informed the Pelicans he would like to be traded to. Lakers willing to give Pelicans cap relief for Anthony Davis by taking Solomon Hill for Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ingram, Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Beasley, 2 1st round picks.
Davis, 25, requested a trade more than a week ago. He said the team is waiting for the Pelicans to make a counter-proposal. Irving, 26, previously said he planned to re-sign with the Celtics in the summer but has recently wavered in public on that promise.
It would look bad on Davis as well, as demanding a trade to one team would paint him as an inflexible diva. The league's landscape is certainly feeling the tremors of the campaign by Paul and Davis.
This gives another big market team like the Lakers a chance of strong-arming the Pelicans into a awful trade that only benefits one team. Giving in to the Pelicans' demands for between six and eight draft picks would have been lunacy. There's a real possibility that the Pelicans and Davis could agree on a limited playing schedule post-trade deadline, but that's undetermined.
The Nets' opportunity to put a deal on the table including an All-Star level talent gives them quite the edge over teams like the Lakers, but it doesn't stop there.
"I would never want my son to play for Boston after what they done to Isaiah Thomas", Davis wrote to Shelburne. Zion Williamson is the unanimous first pick and has been for months, and he has the makings of a franchise player who would bring tremendous energy wherever he goes. New Orleans must really like Jayson Tatum. It's possible the Lakers and Pelicans could resume talks. Davis requested a trade last week and is not eligible for free agency until July of 2020.