Anthony Davis is the most important player in New Orleans Pelicans franchise history. He’s 22 years old and may very well be the best player alive by the time he’s 24.
But so far, the Pelicans have done a horrendous job building around their organization’s sturdiest pillar. The strategy of surrounding him with "young veterans," talented-but-flawed pieces like Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, isn’t working out. Where do they go from here?
One day after Davis dropped a 59-point, 20-rebound atomic bomb on the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, this report about a potential trade before Thursday’s deadline would’ve made a bad situation even worse (via Sporting News):
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The Bucks have quickly determined that pairing Greg Monroe with second-year forward Jabari Parker creates a slow and porous defensive front that probably can’t be fixed with schemes and practice time. Milwaukee nearly had a deal to ship Monroe to New Orleans, but the Pelicans balked at giving up Jrue Holiday, and that’s where talks crashed.
It’s conceivable for Davis and Monroe to form one of the more formidable offensive front lines in the league — with Monroe working the paint and Davis spreading the floor — but in reality there are too many drawbacks for New Orleans to even consider a move like this.
New Orleans’ defense has been atrocious this season, and with Monroe (a slow, awful defender) beside Davis (who still regularly falls for pump fakes) it would be even worse. But that point doesn’t even acknowledge how ridiculously crowded this trade would make New Orleans’ rotation.
Alexis Ajinca is likely included in this hypothetical deal because his contract makes it work, but what happens to Omer Asik? Would this trade signal the end of Anderson’s tenure as a Pelican?
Holiday’s health issues are a constant concern, but in no universe is Monroe a superior all-around player who better helps a basketball team win games. This would’ve been an extremely lopsided deal if the Pelicans let it happen.
And given their track record, it’s a minor miracle that they passed.