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Okay, fine — Let’s talk about Anthony Davis to the Thunder

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It’s in the back of all of our heads. Here’s some scenarios that are technically possible.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t really like the phrase “elephant in the room.” This phrase is most frequently used when avoiding talking about something that clearly needs to be talked about.

I don’t like it because I feel like if there was an elephant in the room, it would be surely the only thing we would be talking about. We probably also wouldn’t be talking, we’d be hyperventilating or screaming before running. Elephants are great, but I think most human rooms are too small for them.

For every team, Anthony Davis is the elephant in the room. This is not only because he’s a gargantuan human, it’s because players as good as Davis are almost never on the public trading block.

Thunder fans at the trade deadline are some of the most trade-happy fans in the league, and they have reason to be: Sam Presti is a wizard, pulling trades out of thin air like a sorcerer.

I was exhausted seeing Thunder trade ideas, but Brady helped me understand:

Let’s do our due diligence here and just talk 3 trade scenarios: the ideal one, the necessary one, and the crazy one.

The Ideal

To me, this is the ideal situation. “Ideal” of course means that the Thunder get the better end of the deal here.

The Thunder lose Dennis Schröder and have him replaced by Elfrid Payton. Payton has actually been not horrible this year, and I view going from a backup PG who is finally showing signs of living up to his salary, to a competent backup PG to get Anthony Davis, a very small price to pay — especially considering that the Thunder have had horrible backup PGs in recent years. Payton seems to me a better option than what we’ve had previously, so all things considered, I’m okay with this.

Losing Grant hurts me, but when I imagine this scenario, I remember he’s being replaced by Anthony Davis, and then all my hurt goes away.

Terrance Ferguson is an appealing, young, 3 & D prospect, which is the most coveted archetype in the NBA right now. The Pelicans would be happy to have a player of his promise going forward.

Do the Pelicans do this? Absolutely not.

The Necessary

I have to assume that Paul George and Russell Westbrook are the two truly untouchable players on the Thunder roster, even for Anthony Davis. They mean too much to the organization to justify losing them in any scenario.

So what’s left? Ah, yes. The other 3 most important players on the Thunder roster.

This scenario also requires that the Thunder take on the salary of Solomon Hill, who should be making about $10M less than he is.

We lose Steven Adams, which puts Nerlens Noel in the starting C spot. Schröder heads out, which means Raymond Felton steps up. Jerami Grant is replaced by Anthony Davis. The Thunder will have to get a bit more, so I don’t think receiving another big is too much to ask.

This leaves the Thunder with a starting lineup of: Russell Westbrook, Terrance Ferguson, Paul George, Anthony Davis, and Nerlens Noel. Backups would be Raymond Felton, Alex Abrines, Abdel Nader, Julius Randle, and Patrick Patterson playing the small 5.

If Anthony Davis doesn’t mind playing center, perhaps Randle or Patterson would start at the 4, which would allow the reserves to still have Noel patrolling the paint.

Do the Pelicans do this? Maybe?

Do the Thunder do this? Probably not.

The Crazy

This is so horrible. I am so sorry. I just like Terrance Ross. The Magic would never do this. I think.


Presti convinced Paul George to stay in OKC, but the asking price for him was far lower than that of Davis. Adams, Schröder, and Grant are too much for another gamble on a rental.

Davis seems much more adamant that he is going to LA than Paul George ever did. His family is involved, and he’s making pleas to the GM.

He is, obviously, Anthony Davis. And the idea of gambling on his rental season, possibly winning a championship, and then him deciding he wants to stay is a tantalizing proposition. It’s a pretty picture of a best-case scenario.

But the risk is far too great, and the variables too numbered.

Would the players mesh in less than half a season? Can PG, Westbrook, and Davis develop a chemistry fast enough to gel before the playoffs where they’d likely have to go through teams such as the Warriors and Nuggets, teams who exhibit that kind of high-level cohesiveness? Will Davis get injured and waste his time with the team? Is gutting our depth — not to mention, losing one of the most popular Thunder players ever in Steven Adams, who isn’t even in his prime yet — too great a cost?

Of course Anthony Davis being on the Thunder would be monumental.

But the cost is far too high. Far, far too high.


Do you think the Thunder will make a play for Anthony Davis?

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