And just like those other superstars, AD to Portland ain’t happening.
Although it would behoove general manager Neil Olshey to swing for the fences and reach for the superstars, there’s a more reasonable target out there. And he just so happens to play for the same team as Davis.
This time last year, the Trail Blazers were rumored to have eyes for then-Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic. The hypothetical acquisition would’ve given Portland the floor-spacing it needed and it would’ve allowed Al-Farouq Aminu to slide back down to his natural small forward position.
The Pelicans ultimately ended up with the now-27-year-old (he’ll be 28 later this month), but they find themselves as sellers following Davis’ trade request ahead of Thursday’s deadline.
As far as what Niko would do for the Blazers…nothing has changed. Portland is 18th this season in three-pointers made and just 20th in attempts. He’s shooting a respectable 36.8 percent from deep on the year, but his stroke is even better than the numbers suggest, as it was just last season he knocked down 42.9 percent during his shortened stint with the Bulls.
Mirotic has also proved to be tougher than the Euro stereotype that’s followed him for much of his career. His 8.3 rebounds per game are a career high by a relative longshot—but really it’d just be cool to have a Fire & Ice combo at the 4 and the 5 if you’re Portland.
Although Olshey doesn’t have a lot to work with as far as hot trade commodities go, he does have something the Pelicans are desperate for: a first-round draft pick.
NOLA has no interest in winning this season as it starts to prepare for Pelicans A.D. (After Davis), so the organization won’t have a problem helping another Western Conference team get better if it means the Pels can stock up for the future as a result.