Despite landing the No. 1 pick in the draft, all signs point to New Orleans trading Anthony Davis this offseason. And ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that new executive vice president David Griffin has started to let teams know exactly what he wants for the All-Star forward.
The key information from the report looks like this…
- Asking price: All-Star player, young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks.
- Interested teams thus far: Clippers, Lakers, Knicks and Nets (maybe Celtics)
- Timeline: Prefers to be done days before the June 20th draft
The original report from Wojnarowski suggests that although there is no firm timetable on the trade, the team prefers the deal be done “days prior” to the 2019 NBA Draft, so that they can properly assess potential draft candidates. That gives this whole thing a lot more urgency and excitement, because, hey, days before the draft is only days from now.
In any case, Griffin hopes to acquire players that he can pair alongside Jrue Holiday and expected No. 1 pick Zion Williamson for a playoff-caliber roster. Considering the high asking price, Woj states that Griffin believes a multi-team trade would work best to accomplish such a deal.
Both the Knicks and the Lakers feel best suited for Davis right now – as each team has a pile of young talent on their roster with a top-3 pick in this year’s draft. However, with a lot of money on the line (Davis is owed around $27 million this upcoming season and can sign a super-max contract worth $235.5 million in July) and several players involved, a third team will most likely need to act as a bridge.
And what do you know, the Bulls could be that team.
This latest piece mentions the possibility of a 3-team scenario, which the Bulls would try to be involved with. https://t.co/xakc0DNHJf
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 10, 2019
With the Bulls expected to revamp their roster through free agency this summer, the team could be in a good position to facilitate a three-team trade. Now, the Bulls would, most likely, only come into play if the Pelicans value the No. 7 pick in the draft more than they value a current player that’s part of a team’s package. For example, if the Lakers planned to bid for Davis once again, the Bulls could potentially be in a position to acquire Lonzo Ball (not saying it’s a good thing) and give the No. 7 pick to New Orleans.
I will say, out of the teams involved, it’s hard to imagine many realistically included players for which it’d be worth it (for Chicago). With that said, I could see potential interest in the Clippers Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, for one example; however, the Clippers have already said they’re not interested in trading him.
But that’s where things get interesting. Even if the Bulls choose not to get involved in such a trade, the organization could still be impacted by its shockwaves. For one, if any of the teams or picks in front of the Bulls get shuffled before the draft, that could ultimately (and obviously) impact who is or isn’t available when the Bulls go on the clock. But we can be a lot more specific than that. For example, if the Nets go ahead and land Davis, that’ll probably come at the expense of resigning a guy like D’Angelo Russell, meaning the Bulls could have an easier path to land him in free agency (they would probably still need more cap space, but still). And that can be applied to a few other free agents as well.
And considering the long-lasting rumors of the Celtics interest, a good amount of these teams in the hunt for Davis belong in the East. I think it’s safe to say that an Eastern Conference with Davis becomes a lot more competitive. And can you imagine if Kawhi stayed with Toronto? What if Durant comes over to the Nets or Knicks? Where will Kyrie go? Oh, yeah, remember that guy named Giannis too? The eastern conference is one offseason away from reclaiming its title as the best conference… and the Bulls are in the middle of it all just trying to rebuild.
So whether they get directly involved in the deal or just feel the shockwaves through the draft, free agency, or the conference in general, the Bulls will be impacted by an Anthony Davis trade – and maybe sooner than later.