After winning their second consecutive NBA title, the Golden State Warriors already have their eyes on their newest recruit. Recent reports have stated that the Warriors will be trying to land Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. Is this a good move for both sides, as well as the NBA as a whole?
The Golden State Warriors are the 2018 NBA Champions. This is their second title in a row and now fans and analysts alike are starting to believe this could actually be the best team ever assembled. In addition to Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, AND Draymond Green, the Warriors are rumored to be looking to add another superstar to their team. This time it is Anthony Davis.
Davis entered the league in 2012 after being selected first overall by the then-Hornets of New Orleans. They would soon go on to change their name to the Pelicans. Davis has played his entire career for this organization.
During his six years in the league, Davis has been an All-Star five times, an All-NBA player twice, an All-Defensive team member twice and a three-time block champion. It is insane what he has been able to accomplish in just six seasons.
Because of his freakish athleticism and his astronomical overall talent, Davis has all eyes on him as his contract comes to a close in a few years. This hasn’t stopped the Warriors. According to a recent rumor, the Warriors are planning to pursue Davis this offseason to help improve their already talented roster.
This brings the question: should Davis even want to join them if the opportunity does come? Well, the answer depends on who you ask.
It has been claimed by some fans that Kevin Durant ruined the NBA by joining the Warriors, a team that won 73 games the season before his arrival. Although seeing teams dominate an era is not something we haven’t seen before, this time feels different. At times it seems like this team could never lose a game.
The amount of talent and depth that this team presently has is incredible. And even though it seems to make the league unbalanced, in reality, it doesn’t. This is the same team that just went to seven games with the Rockets, the same team who could have had their hands full with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2017 Western Conference Finals had Kawhi Leonard not gotten hurt, and the same team who has been known to crumble at the seams on occasion.
The difference between their problems and other teams’ problems is that they know how to, and have the talent to, get the job done in the face of adversity. Whether that is because they have won so much or because they have the experienced players to do so, they are one of the only teams who can pull it off. And they do it every year.
They are beatable though, as the Rockets showed this year, and that is what some fans seem to forget. If you add Anthony Davis to this team, however, then we are starting to see something that we shouldn’t in this league. Especially if they can finagle a way to obtain him without giving up any of their four all-stars.
If Davis were to join the Warriors in this manner, then their starting five would consist of five All-Stars. This is something that has not been done before on a single team. This move would do more damage to the league than good.
Let’s start by breaking down Davis’s prior season first. He was able to post averages of 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.6 blocks per game. These numbers were good enough to put him in the discussion for this years MVP award. Although the trophy has not been given out, it is safe to assume that Davis will finish in the top five.
He led the league in blocks per game, and he was second in points per game and fifth in rebounds per game. To top it off, he led the Pelicans to a record of 48-34 which was sixth in the loaded Western Conference.
During the playoffs, Davis reached a level that only a few players can and have. Averaging 30.1 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, Davis was able to lead the Pelicans to a first-round sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers. They would eventually get knocked out by the Warriors in the next round and lost the series 4-1.
The Warriors don’t need to be talked about. Everyone knows the amount of talent their roster has and how dominant they are. They do, however, need to be looked at as the spot Anthony Davis should be vehemently opposed to playing for.
The main reason being the hit on his reputation as a great player. Durant is largely considered the second-best player in the world and with good reason, but when it comes to his legacy people will constantly bring up the fact that he joined a superteam to win championships.
If Davis were to do the same thing, then he would risk putting his legacy on the line too.
Davis had the chance to leave the Pelicans back in 2015, but he decided to stay and inked a $145 million dollar deal that lasts until 2021. His decision to stay with them after only making it to the playoffs once shows his loyalty to the organization. The Pelicans cannot decide to trade him to the Warriors after he showcased that kind of loyalty.
Plus, what can the Warriors even offer that isn’t one (or more) of their four all-stars? Patrick McCaw, Jordan Bell, Iguodala, and every Warriors’ first-round pick forever might not even get the trade done, not to mention the cap implications and trade rules. And if the Pelicans were dumb enough to accept an offer like that, Golden State would have no depth. It is unlikely the injury-prone Davis would survive playing big minutes on a shallow roster. That can’t be appetizing to him either.
This whole AD to Golden State thing is just a rumor that is going around, but who knows if it could turn into something serious. If it does, then Anthony Davis should come out against the trade and continue to help the Pelicans grow into a title contender later on in his career. A ring with the Pelicans would be more impressive than one with the Warriors, and it would cement his legacy as one of the best players ever.