That huge sigh of relief you just heard came from New Orleans. The entire city.
Anthony Davis saw a specialist due to concerns about a possible avulsion fracture in his left index finger, and there were concerns this could have sidelined him for a month. It won’t. Davis could return next week, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This is good news in New Orleans as the 22-25 Pelicans struggle without Davis on the court — they are 7.2 points per 100 possessions worse when their MVP candidate sits — and the team wants to make a push to the playoffs. Losing Davis for a long stretch of games would have ended that hope.
Along those lines, the Pelicans do not plan to trade Davis. It’s something that gets brought up as speculation (and Kevin Garnett encouraged Davis to act), but sources have been adamant to me saying no trade would happen during the season, something I heard going all the way back to Summer League last year. The Pelicans want to win and are the most aggressive team on the trade market right now looking to add players, they aren’t looking to sell.
Davis himself is not going to ask for a trade right now, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Davis has yet to reach the point this season where he will request a trade, but a full evaluation of his seven seasons in New Orleans likely will come in the offseason.
Few people around the league think Davis will be with the Pelicans at the start of next season, but don’t expect him to get traded before the Feb. 7 deadline. That’s a July thing.
The Lakers reportedly didn’t negotiate the Anthony Davis trade date with the Pelicans – an important consideration. That apparently left it in New Orleans’ hands, and the Pelicans flipping the No. 4 pick to the Hawks means the Davis trade will be completed the first allowable day.
Sam Amick of The Athletic:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Lakers now project to have about $24 million in cap room.
Maybe they can get more by including other players in the trade, but that would make the deal even costlier for the Lakers. Davis could also waive his trade kicker, but first, they’d need to ask him. He might refuse.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka apparently agreed to put his team into this situation. But it’s hard to believe he fully understood the implications when he did.
Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
The NBA Draft saw the trade of the No. 4 pick — twice — plus the No. 6 and 11 picks before the New Orleans Pelicans were even on the clock for the No. 1 pick. Listening to the buzz around the league, expect a lot more first-round trades, especially when we get into the 20s. It’s going to be a crazy night.
We will be on top of it all night long.
Here is a breakdown of every pick, every trade — complete with analysis of how that player fits (or doesn’t) with his new surroundings.
No. 1. New Orleans Pelicans:
The top of the draft has become clear:
1. Pelicans: Zion Williamson
2. Grizzlies: Ja Morant
3. Knicks: R.J. Barrett
4. Hawks: De'Andre Hunter
What will the Cavaliers do at No. 5?
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Those follow-up reports emerged quickly and from multiple reporters. The Cavaliers apparently want to make it very clear they’re open to trading the pick.
For good reason.
My highest-rated prospects available are both point guards: Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and North Carolina’s Coby White. Cleveland already has Collin Sexton, last year’s lottery pick, at point guard.
I generally favor drafting the best prospect available then figuring it out. Sexton isn’t good enough to justify deviating from that.
But this situation demands the Cavs explore trading the pick – or Sexton. Cleveland shouldn’t just blindly walk into a conundrum.
Still, it seems if the Cavaliers don’t find a trade, they’ll make the smart move and draft Garland.
New Minnesota president Gersson Rosas has a reputation around the league: He’s aggressive. He learned in Houston to go hard after what he wants.
Rosas wanted to move up in this draft, and he found a partner, the Phoenix Suns. The Timberwolves will draft sixth after a trade with the Suns for the 11th pick and Dario Saric. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news.
This trade can work out for Minnesota, depending upon who they draft and develop.
Who will the Timberwolves pick at six? Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett will be off the board for sure. The Hawks, who just traded for the No. 4 pick, are expected to take De'Andre Hunter out of Virginia. Cleveland at No. 5 now is the breaking point of the draft but reports are they like Darius Garland out of Vanderbilt, unless they trade down from this spot. That makes Jarrett Culver the likely Timberwolves pick at six. Coby White, the North Carolina point guard, is another option.
For Phoenix, Saric can be a good fit at the four if they acquire a good ball-sharing point guard this summer.
Saric gives the Suns a sharpshooter to help space the floor. The Suns starting lineup now has Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Saric, Deandre Ayton, and they are expected to chase a veteran point guard in free agency. That has some potential.