Free agency will not be the only way teams can rejuvenate their franchise this summer. This offseason, more than most, provides a unique opportunity on the trade market as well, with names like Anthony Davis, Kevin Love, Mike Conley Jr., and Bradley Beal expected to be at least somewhat on the table.
Focusing more on Anthony Davis, the demand for his services will be high, especially when the free agent market eventually dries up. Boston has been the run-away candidate so far, but is their offer really as unbeatable as everyone believes?
Zack Buckley of Bleacher Report hinted that the answer might be no. The Chicago Bulls have more than enough assets to make a monster package of their own, suggesting that Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, and a 2019 first-round pick might be enough to get the job done.
The Pelicans’ primary focus in a Davis deal is landing “a young player … who has the potential to become an All-NBA performer,” per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Markkanen and LaVine might both fit that bill, plus there’s a 12.5-percent chance that pick becomes this summer’s first overall. That’s quite the mammoth offer.
The Bulls have a great advantage, but acquiring a polarizing player like Davis (who will hit free agency in 2020) comes at a risk.
There are legitimate questions of whether Chicago would offer this much, especially when there are whispers Davis doesn’t want to play for his hometown team. But if the Bulls decide to gamble, they’d hold one of the strongest hands at the table.
The Bulls have not had a player to build around since Derrick Rose in the early 2010s. After a series of bad breaks saw him depart from the franchise, the front office has been in search of his replacement ever since.
In terms of one to carry on a new generation of Bulls basketball, you cannot go wrong with Anthony Davis, who has routinely carried a thin Pelicans team to the postseason.
They can offer New Orleans all they could want in return (two young, promising superstars and a chance to get another in the draft), but they will have to decide if that gamble is worth the taking.