Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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The Los Angeles Clippers sent shockwaves through NBA circles Monday after trading star forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.
Griffin, who was a free agent this past summer, re-signed with the Clippers on a five-year, $173 million contract — a deal many thought Griffin would finish in LA since the Clippers sold the high-flyer this offseason on finishing his career with them.
But as we know, the NBA is a business first, and despite how good a player is, there is no such thing as loyalty.
After the Griffin trade became official, some executives around the league began to wonder if New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis is the next big man to be moved, maybe not at this year’s trade deadline, but in the summer.
Davis’ frontcourt mate, DeMarcus Cousins, was lost for the season last week after he ruptured his Achilles’ tendon. The Pelicans will most likely struggle to make the playoffs now in the rugged Western Conference without Cousins despite Davis’ talent.
Pelicans general manager Dell Demps has no aspirations to move Davis. Multiple teams have attempted to engage the Pelicans in trade talks concerning Davis in the past year, but according to one league executive, “The conversations end quickly as I understand,” according to Sporting News.
But if the Pelicans miss the postseason and Demps and coach Alvin Gentry are fired, a “fire sale” could happen in New Orleans under a new regime.
“There’s some logic to shedding deals where possible and starting over, even if it means parting with a mega-star like Davis. At least, that’s the view from other front offices. Several teams — Boston, most prominently, but also Golden State, San Antonio and Chicago — will go into this trade deadline not only with their own rosters in mind, but with some consideration for the potential of a Davis trade this summer.
“A.D. is obviously a great player, but they’re stuck and his free agency is coming faster than you think,” one GM told Sporting News. “It is hard to operate under the gun with a situation like that, so it is something they’ll need to at least explore this summer. If Dell stays on, he is going to want to find ways to keep building and maybe even take a chance on keeping DeMarcus. But if Dell goes, there are four or five teams hoping hard for a fire sale.”