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  • Writer's pictureDan Carney

Draft Dodging: The Case For NOT Trading The First Pick For Anthony Davis

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

With Anthony Davis looking to leave the town where I went to my first strip club, teams are stockpiling assets in hoping they can convince the Pelicans to swap spit with them and release The Brow their way. If one of the Association’s bottom-tier teams secure the number one pick, should they include that in a package for AD? Let’s take a look at the Knicks, Cavs, and Suns, and see what they should do:

Cleveland Cavaliers

If the Cavs get the first pick, then Dan Gilbert made some deal with the devil. It would be their fourth top pick of the century and third in this decade. I’m not so sure Gilbert isn’t the devil himself. I always say it’s impossible to win with bad ownership, and the fact LeBron and Kyrie did just that speaks to how incredible they are. Fuck Dan Gilbert. The very GM he fired after that championship, David Griffin, is now the GM of - you guessed it - the New Orleans Water Birds! In whatever universe this trade takes place, I guarantee Griffin swindled the hell out of the Cavs. This trade makes no sense; AD isn’t going to stay and try to rebuild in Cleveland, and if LeBron couldn’t attract big free agents there in his prime then neither can he. Take Zion and be happy God still thinks about Cleveland. Don’t trade the pick.

Phoenix Suns

As good as Ja Morant is (and he is, really good), you don’t screw this one up. Zion Williamson is one of those “just draft him and we’ll figure out where he fits” type guys. The Suns don’t just want a point guard, they desperately need one. Adding a distributor and ball handler like Ja frees up Booker to play off the ball and focus on what he does best (scoring), but you can just draft Zion with the hopes that a veteran point guard will want to come in and throw lobs to him for a year or two. So that’s my case for taking Zion over Ja, but what about trading the top pick for Anthony Davis? Phoenix right now is probably as or less attractive to free agents and prime-time players as Cleveland is, and it’s doubtful someone with Anthony Davis’s outlook will want to resign and wait to see if Phoenix figures it out. Plus, for as bad as Cleveland’s ownership is, Phoenix is right up there. Inconsistencies and lack of stability in their front office has left the league looking at the Suns like a drunk girl with daddy issues. I’m staying away, and so is Anthony Davis. Take Zion, get Booker to stop wearing Pumas and hope James Jones rights the ship. Don’t trade the pick.

New York Knicks

It’s important to note that if/when Anthony Davis is traded, he has only one year remaining on his contract. This means whoever trades for him must convince him to stay in the offseason - a huge headache and potential nightmare. Luckily, NYC was on Davis’s “list” of preferred teams to play for, but who knows how reliable that story is. The Knicks have two productive bigs in DeAndre Jordan and Mitchell Robinson (they should never have gotten rid of Kanter - I don’t care how bad he is on defense), but are they the cornerstones of the franchise’s future? I don’t think so. They’re essentially the same player - with Robinson slightly better on D - and can’t coexist on the floor together due to the problems it causes with spacing. If you think the train is crowded at 5pm, try driving into the lane with two 7 footers down low who can’t pop out for a jump shot. Does adding Zion help with that? It’s likely one of these two would be included in any trade package for Davis, solving that problem. Now you have some spacing for DSJ and Kevin Knox to drive and dish rather than taking it into the trees every possession. Zion isn’t really a shooter, and the Knicks have none of that right now. AD is already a better 3-point shooter than Zion is. Plus, NYC is in discussions every offseason as a prime free agent destination, but they just haven’t had the star power to attract others there. Davis can be that guy for them that brings a Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving to The Big Apple and maybe finally help New Yorkers forget that James Dolan cares more about his band than his basketball team. Trade the pick.

What do you think? Want to chime in? Follow me on Instagram @danmancarney or feel free to email questions to and maybe I'll answer them on here.

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