In the blink of an eye, the Pelicans suddenly have a bright future.
And, that future should not include Anthony Davis.
In June, with the first pick in the NBA draft, New Orleans will select Duke’s Zion Williamson, college basketball’s player of the year.
Williamson, immensely talented, has an upside as deep as the mouth of the Mississippi River at Canal Street.
And, he celebrates his 19th birthday July 6th.
That, is called, a future.
Ironically, any hopes of the Pelicans climbing back into the Western Conference playoff picture were tabled in late January when Davis asked for a trade.
What followed was this weird dance. The Pelicans didn’t want to expose a huge trade asset to injury. So, Davis played limited minutes, often sitting out the fourth quarter of games.
The Pelicans sunk into the lottery, and prepared for a sizable rebuild.
That rebuild was just accelerated.
With Williamson, and Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans already have two of a possible “big three”.
And, now New Orleans will listen to a host of trade offers from other clubs.
Surely, the Knicks would part with the third pick in the draft as part of a trade package for Anthony Davis.
The Lakers would certainly include the fourth pick in the draft in a trade package.
And, there’s the Boston Celtics, who covet Davis’ services.
A package of draft picks and players that included Jayson Tatum will certainly be discussed.
By trading Anthony Davis, the Pelicans have the best of all worlds.
They unload the final year of his contract (more than $28 million), get a game changing soon to be 19 year old in return, and on his rookie contract, and now have the trade asset to build an exciting young core around him.
The Pelicans will never have a better chance to build a championship contender than they do now.
It is time to wish Anthony Davis well, and move on.
This is Zion’s team.