Anthony Davis Trade Rumors: Pelicans Providing ‘Framework’ of Deal to Teams
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) wears a T-shirt with 'That's All, Folks,' printed on it during player introduction before an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors in New Orleans, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)

Scott Threlkeld/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has reportedly begun laying a “framework” that the team would accept in any Anthony Davis trade.

ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Griffin “hasn’t sounded convinced that a singular team is likely to fulfill his wishes” in a trade package. Griffin is looking for an “All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks,” according to the report.

The Pelicans have thus considered what type of package they could get as part of a multi-team trade. It’s unlikely any one team would be willing to part ways with all four of those assets mentioned. Wojnarowski noted that the asking price is a “sliding scale,” though, so a team with high draft picks may have an advantage.

There’s also a fair bit of posturing that has to be done in any negotiation. Griffin may want the world in a trade package. What he gets will ultimately be a different story. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Kyrie Irving have each gotten traded in recent seasons for packages worth far less than their individual value.

Griffin isn’t going to give away Davis for free, but he may have a tough time finding a team willing to give up an All-Star player. Any team that trades for Davis will be doing so with eyes at competing for a championship. 

A quick look at the 2019 All-Stars list shows how unlikely the Pelicans are to get an All-Star in return. The only ones that seem potentially available and plausible are D’Angelo Russell and Khris Middleton. Both Russell and Middleton are free agents and would have to agree to a sign-and-trade. While the Bucks have not been mentioned as a Davis destination, Wojnarowski noted that some smaller-market teams could be aggressive after seeing the success Leonard has had in Toronto.

The Pelicans are also planning to build around Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday, meaning that Holiday is unlikely to be traded.

Griffin is said to want to complete a trade involving a 2019 draft pick before the June 20 draft, which would move up the timeframe of a potential deal. The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have been chief among the teams discussing deals with New Orleans.

The Lakers have been Davis’ preferred destination. 

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