Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 4.1
NYK receives: Solomon Hill, Norman Powell, CJ Miles + second round pick from Raptors
NOP receives: Jonas Valanciunas, Tim Hardaway Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam + a second rounder from the Knicks + two firsts from Toronto
TOR receives: Anthony Davis, Courtney Lee
In this scenario, the Pelicans have determined that the season will not end with a playoff appearance, and A.D. has indicated disinterest in re-signing on a mega-max extension this offseason. They are listening to offers for a top-6 NBA player; a generational athlete crafted in the basketball likeness of Wilt, Kareem, and the mighty Big Aristotle. The phone rings. It’s Masai Ujiri. He is somehow still not call-blocked by the front offices at MSG. New Orleans general manager Dell Demps hears Knicks general manager Scott Perry on the line. Masai speaks, and asks them to consider the above proposal.
The Knicks turn two ugly shooting guard contracts into an expiring contract wing in Hill, a young high-ceiling piece to fit their competitive timeline in Powell, and a moderately overpaid sweet-shooting wing in CJ Miles. As a result of this trade, they will have more cap space at season’s end to pursue Kevin Durant, and other marquee free agents.
The Pelicans, never the popular free agent destination, will aim to take back a lot of fair contracts in order to keep their team competitive while stocking and developing young talent. They get that in their return package, with none of the four players over age 26, and sporting a combined per-game stat line of 56 pts/20 reb/7 ast.
The Raptors pair Anthony Davis with Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry on a team still featuring Serge Ibaka, Danny Green, Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright. The change of scenery and sudden influx of championship aspirations could rejuvenate rotation-filler/’Danny Green-lite’ Courtney Lee, who averaged 12/2/2 on 41% from 3pt land just last year. The Raps go all-in to trot out a lineup of Lowry-Green-Leonard-Davis-Ibaka, or Lowry-Lee-Green-Leonard-Davis on their way to a first ever Finals appearance.