Although Anthony Davis trade rumors are full of Lakers and Celtics news, there are more destinations that are far more interesting. It may be inevitable that AD ends up with LeBron James in LA or Kyrie Irving in Boston, but Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were also once destined to be Lakers. Each dark horse team on my list has enough pieces that there’s a slight chance they could trade for Davis. It may be unlikely, but not impossible.
1. Milwaukee Bucks
In theory, the Bucks could send a package of Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Thon Maker, and draft picks to the Pelicans. This isn’t the best package possible, but NBA GMs can be unpredictable in their decisions sometimes. Anyways, let’s focus on the fun part of this deal. Imagine a Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis pick-and-roll, or these two stars running a fastbreak together. Giannis has made it very public he wants to recruit Davis and this duo would be incredible. Although both score the majority of their baskets in the paint, I believe they could coexist successfully. Remember Anthony Davis successfully played with DeMarcus Cousins. Guarding a pick-and-roll or a pick-and-pop with these two superstars would be nearly impossible. They’re both athletic freaks and dominant finishers around the rim and Davis has a decent outside jumper.
Furthermore, Davis would thrive under Milwaukee’s fast-paced offense. The Pelicans were always better when playing at a high pace and the Bucks are no different. The Bucks currently rank 5th in pace and 6th in fastbreak points. Besides playing fast, the offensive system has been surrounding Giannis with shooters, but that strategy may not work in the playoffs. Teams are able to create elaborate defensive schemes that could cause the Bucks’ high-powered offense to slow down. If they bring in a second star such as AD, it’s hard to imagine a scheme that would be able to slow down both stars. Milwaukee may be a long shot to land Davis, but if they managed to do it they would create a very special duo.
2. Portland Trailblazers
Portland has already emerged as a dark horse destination in the Anthony Davis trade sweepstakes. After getting destroyed by Davis in the first round last year, I’m sure the Blazers would love to add him to their team. A deal would likely revolve around CJ McCollum, Anfernee Simons, Zach Collins, and draft picks. Davis and Damian Lillard would create an exciting duo that would dominate on offense. I believe this is a trade the Blazers need to happen. The past 3 seasons have made it obvious CJ and Dame won’t win a championship together. Making a big move, such as trading for Davis, is the Blazers best chance of becoming a serious contender. While analyzing teams biggest needs at the trade deadline it was painfully clear the Blazers needed a significant change, but I didn’t think an opportunity would arise so soon.
If Portland lands AD they could easily play him at the 4 and keep Jusuf Nurkic at the 5. Although Davis has better stats at the 5, he is more injury prone while playing that position. Also, since this trade would take a hit to their already weak bench, there is a good chance the Blazers would sign Carmelo Anthony or chase after the buyout market. Unfortunately, the biggest problem in Portland is their perimeter defense, but having both Davis and Nurkic patrolling the paint teams will have a tough time scoring even if they blow by their primary defender. With this potential trade, Davis provides Portland an injection of star power that they have desperately needed. If this team wants to become a true competitor, they need to be willing to make a risky move such as this one.
3. Toronto Raptors
Toronto may be able to pull off an Anthony Davis trade due to the sheer number of assets they have. Jonas Valanciunas is a good contract filler and Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and Delon Wright are all intriguing young pieces. I’m sure Kyle Lowry‘s name will be thrown into trade rumors as well. Additionally, the Raptors have all their draft picks after this year to include in a potential trade. Although it would cost them some depth, the superstar pairing of Leonard and Davis would arguably be the best in the NBA. Since both are elite two-way players, they will be able to dominate both ends of the court. Toronto’s bench would be weaker, but only 5 guys can play at a time. Having a great bench won’t help as much when starting lineups are playing 35+ minutes in the playoffs.
As for his fit with the Raptors, Davis should thrive with the team. They currently rank 4th in fastbreak points and Davis’ speed and athleticism will bring that number up even more. The Raptors weakest position is undoubtedly the center spot and bringing in AD would make that change very quickly. Also, the three-point shooters on the Raptors would allow Davis to thrive down low. If they double Davis in the post, he is a good enough passer to find a Danny Green or Norman Powell on the perimeter. This Raptors team has so much depth that it is worth shortening the bench a little bit to acquire a second star of Davis’ caliber.
Where do you want to see Anthony Davis end up? Comment Below!