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Stars Aligning For a New York-New Orleans Trade?

The chances of RJ Barrett joining Zion Williamson on the Pelicans has gone from minimal to conceivable

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North Dakota State v Duke
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 22: RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils dunks the ball as teammate Zion Williamson #1 celebrates against the North Dakota State Bison in the second half during the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 22, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A lot of what you’ll find in here, including most of what we say, is speculative and opinion-based but nonetheless there is likely some truth to it as well: over at Forbes, which does some surprisingly good sports coverage at times, Gabe Zaldivar says (citing sources) that the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t very interested in doing a deal with the Lakers for Anthony Davis and in particular don't like Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.

They would prefer to do a deal with the New York Knicks instead.

Now we get into the territory that makes draft season soap opera for sports fans.

As you know, we’ve seen lately that Zion Williamson may not be that happy about going to the Pelicans so it’s in their interest to make him happy about being in New Orleans. And what could possibly make him happier than getting his close friend from Duke, RJ Barrett, in a trade from the Knicks?

Being an intelligent man, Pelicans GM David Griffin knows the situation better than most and understands that Barrett may be the key to making Williamson happy about being a Pelican.

Is there a villain in this scenario?

Of course there is and it’s the Memphis Grizzlies.

Eager to stick it to a rival, Memphis covets point guard Ja Morant but could hold the Pelicans hostage by taking Barrett and demanding as much as they could get for him, including having the Knicks draft and then include Morant in any trade.

Memphis might demand, say, Julius Randle and Morant from the Knicks and send them Mike Conley, who wants out of Memphis, and the Knicks could then structure their deal with the Pelicans.

And what about Davis? Does he still want out?

Apparently so.

Just for fun, imagine what would happen if Davis and Williamson coordinated behind the scenes with Williamson saying he wouldn’t play for N.O. unless they got Barrett and Davis insisting on being traded to New York.

Draft season really is fun isn’t it?

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