2. New Orleans Pelicans
Since he made his trade demands known just prior to last season’s trade deadline, the relationship between the New Orleans Pelicans and superstar Anthony Davis has been incredibly tenuous. However, the mood of the Pelicans’ front office and coaching staff rose substantially recently when the franchise miraculously landed the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming June 20 draft.
With this in mind, the outlook for the Pelicans has changed substantially, thus greatly increasing the chances of a blockbuster deal being made this offseason.
For the Sixers: In Davis, the Sixers are simply landing a generational superstar, who possesses the ability to do almost anything on the court. Just recently turned 26, Davis’ ultimate best years are still ahead of him and he would join the Sixers at the ideal time to take them to the next level.
Due to his trade demands, the Pelicans drastically cut Davis’ playing time for his final 13 games of the season. Prior to that, the 6’10” Davis was averaging the incredible numbers of 29.0 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.7 steals per game in 43 appearances. While like Embiid he’s had some questions about his ability to stay on the floor, Davis competed in 75 games in each of his previous two seasons, with this past season cut short due to the uncertainty of his future status.
For the Pelicans: While certainly a risk to acquire, Embiid nonetheless possesses many of the skills Davis has to offer at both ends of the floor. In combination with their incoming No. 1 overall pick — certain to be Zion Williamson — this duo could form one of the most exciting and dynamic frontcourts in recent memory.
Like the Grizzlies, the Pelicans have also struggled to make an impact in their marketplace, ranking 29th for team valuation. With a fresh influx of talent in the form of Embiid and Williamson, the Pelicans could easily find themselves improving dramatically both on and off the floor.
Additionally, the Pelicans will be receiving promising second-year guard Zhaire Smith, primarily as an additional piece to entice the franchise into the deal, which works out financially on the ESPN Trade Machine.