- As Tyler wrote in her post on Monday afternoon, New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has reduced his list of preferred long-term destinations down to four teams. This came around the same time a potential deal was introduced through the rumor mill where the Lakers offered a fat ole deal to the Pellies for Davis.
Landed in Indy; update on Lakers-Pelicans talks. Magic Johnson, Dell Demps talked twice today, per source. 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.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) February 4, 2019
- This potential deal hits every box the Pelicans are trying to check off. Multiple first round picks, several young prospects with potential to grow into All-Stars, and cap relief. In my opinion, this should be the basis for every Davis offer going forward. Personally, if I were the Pelicans, my minimum for Davis would include Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and just one first-round pick. The Lakers, much to my surprise, took that even a step further, tossing in another first-round pick and three veteran players on expiring contracts to help make the money work.
- Now, the Pelicans have zero incentive to make a deal before the trade deadline this Thursday and they clearly want to hear what Boston can offer them - despite Davis and his camp being adamant that he does not intend to sign with the Celtics, no matter what happens with Kyrie Irving and his free agency. The Pelicans responded to that Lakers offer by saying they want EVEN MORE. New Orleans believes the Lakers will eventually be willing to offer the entire farm.
Pels are waiting on Lakers to overwhelm them w/ an historic haul of picks. To Nola, that means Lakers offering 4 first-round and second-round picks as part of a Davis package. Pels want to be compensated - perhaps even overcompensated - to even consider a deal with LA now. https://t.co/Ft8rfe9EBZ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2019
- Four first-round picks is a lot. I read something earlier today from The Ringer that put into perspective just how valuable (or invaluable) these long-term first-round picks actually are. And while the author uses PER as his overall stat (a statistic that does not properly analyze a player's overall impact), his points make sense. Just how valuable are these first-round picks to the Lakers? Do they intend on using them within the next five years? If they trade them all away for Davis and pair him with LeBron, are those picks even going to be useful if they land in the mid- to late- 20s every year until 2025? If the Lakers add Davis, they aren't going to be building through the draft for a while. First-round picks may not be as important to this particular situation as they normally are.
- Davis is worth the picks, in my opinion, and if the Pelicans are willing to make a deal with L.A. centered around adding more picks that can get done before the deadline, they need to go all in. Davis is a future Hall-of-Famer and only 25 years-old. He is a once in a generation type talent. The Lakers shouldn't give that up and risk wasting a precious rebuilding year because of the 23rd pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Letting this ordeal break past Feb. 7 is only going to delay the process for L.A. They need Davis sooner rather than later. LeBron may be a cyborg, but his groin injury proved that Father Time is catching up to him. If the Lakers have to wait another year to sign Davis and in the process waste another year of LeBron, the controversy in Laker Land is only going to balloon.
- My other thoughts come from the Pelicans side. The initial deal the Lakers sent New Orleans was exactly what they wanted. Unless they are absolutely sure the Celtics are willing to offer Jayson Tatum in the summer (and there is some speculation that they will), this may be the best offer they can get. What happens if the Pelicans front office drags this into the summer and Boston balks at adding in Tatum? Now the Lakers would know they're competing with a more realistic deal and they can take away some of their trade chips to perhaps regain leverage. New Orleans thinks they can get the exact same offer from the Lakers in the summer - and they might be able to - but it seems like a risk when you have everything you want in a Davis deal sitting right in front of you. New Orleans should at least wait until Thursday to see if they can finesse anything larger, but I believe there's a good chance the offer that came in yesterday could be the best one available. Danny Ainge and the Celtics want Davis more than anything, but they aren't just going to succumb to the Pelicans wishes to get him and they understand there is a real chance Davis won't resign. What happens if they include Tatum and Davis leaves for L.A. the year after anyway? You know Boston is thinking that, too. The Pelicans seem hesitant to get a deal done for no other reason than they don't like being controlled by Davis' (and LeBron's) agent, Rich Paul. New Orleans could take this into the summer and see what other offers roll in, but they might be playing with house money right now and not even know it. If the Lakers decide to toss in an extra pick or maybe even Josh Hart before the deadline, the Pelicans would be foolish to turn it down.
- Okay, now onto the games from Monday night.
- The Pelicans dropped their third game in a row as they were without Davis, Julius Randle (ankle), Nikola Mirotic (calf), Elfrid Payton (ankle), and E'Twaun Moore (quad) once again. Davis has actually been cleared to practice and wanted to play in this game, but was held out by the Pelicans staff. So things are going great. But Darius Miller did score 16 points for the Pellies and is averaging 14.7 points over his previous six games while shooting 34.5 percent from three on an impressive 9.7 attempts per game.
- Jamal Murray sat out his sixth straight game for the Denver Nuggets as he continues to recover from his ankle injury. He was upgraded to questionable before tipoff but was ultimately held out as the Nuggets were blown out by the middling Detroit Pistons. As a result, more playing time was offered up to Trey Lyles, who took advantage of it for the second game in a row. After posting 19 points on Saturday, Lyles registered 20 points on 8-13 shooting in addition to four rebounds and three assists on Monday.
- The Sacramento Kings picked up a big win over the San Antonio Spurs and did so looking like a veteran club. The Kings fended off the Spurs and any late rally they could conjure up in the third and fourth quarters. Often the Kings have folded this season in situations where they hold late leads and it's encouraging to see them maintain one against a team like the Spurs, especially as they hunt for a playoff spot. De'Aaron Fox led the BBNBA with 20 points on 9-12 shooting in addition to six rebounds and six assists while Willie Cauley-Stein contributed nine points and four rebounds.
- Check out the rest of the stats below and turn on your Twitter notifications for Woj and Shams. Things are only going to get stupider and I couldn't be happier.
STATISTICS[table id=278 /]
TONIGHT IN THE NBA7:00: Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) 7:00: Celtics @ Cavaliers 7:00: Lakers (Rondo) @ Pacers 7:30: Pistons @ Knicks (Kanter, Knox) 8:00 (TNT): Raptors @ 76ers 8:00: Timberwolves (Towns) @ Grizzlies 8:00: Magic (Briscoe) @ Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) 10:30 (TNT): Heat (Adebayo) @ Trail Blazers
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