New Orleans Pelicans: Pros and cons of trading Anthony Davis

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

Pro: Setting up a young core to grow and win together

Rebuilds are difficult, but based on the disastrous “young vets” strategy that likely cost them the Anthony Davis-era, emphasizing a young core around Zion might be exactly what this franchise needs.

Trying to keep AD despite his looming exit — and Jrue Holiday, to a lesser extent if he truly does want out — is the indecisive move. That’s trying to straddle the line and compete both now and in the future. Trading an unhappy AD for a bevy of promising pieces is actually the smart, safe choice to make.

There may not be a grand slam offer on the table, particularly since the Celtics seem destined for a youth movement of their own, but several teams can make valuable offers.

The Knicks can give New Orleans the third pick in the draft — presumably R.J. Barrett — along with a couple of interesting young players and two juicy Dallas Mavericks picks.

The Lakers can and will offer most of their young core, topped with the fourth overall pick.

The Clippers can hypothetically offer Landry Shamet and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, arguably the best two young players on any of the teams in the AD hunt, along with that highly coveted unprotected 2021 Miami Heat first-rounder.

Next. Post-combine 2019 NBA Mock Draft. dark

Good options exist, and with Davis’ insistence that he dons another jersey next season, the Pelicans shouldn’t drag the matter out past the NBA Draft on June 20. Trading a superstar is never easy, but having Zion makes it a thousand times less miserable than this very situation was just a month ago. Go young and go loud, and in seven years New Orleans Pelicans talk around the league won’t be about how desperately their superstar wants out, but about how good the team is.