Is Anthony Davis a realistic target for the Toronto Raptors?
Anthony Davis is undeniably one of the best players in the NBA right now. His dominant presence on both ends of the floor is what made the Pelicans a legitimate playoff contender in the deep Western Conference. However, as the lone superstar in New Orleans, having Davis is obviously not enough to help the Pelicans make their first appearance in the NBA Finals and win an NBA championship title.
After losing DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo in free agency, the Pelicans’ only biggest acquisitions are Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton. If the Pelicans remain as a mediocre team in the next two seasons, Anthony may consider reevaluating his future in New Orleans. Davis could exercise his player option to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020, considering that he will not sign that massive contract extension the Pelicans are expected to offer.
According to Mark Birdsell of Fansided‘s Raptors Rapture, as the competition in the Western Conference gets tougher, Anthony Davis may consider heading in the Eastern Conference and join the Toronto Raptors.
“Davis will be eligible to sign a contract starting at 30 percent of the salary cap or $34.8 million. With their projected cap space, the Raptors would be able to offer him a four-year, $157 million contract. The Raptors have the potential to be one of the best defensive teams in the NBA next season. This starts with Leonard, Anunoby, and Siakam. All three players have the speed and lateral quickness to guard on the perimeter. Their length is ridiculous. Adding Davis to that lineup could make it one of toughest defenses in NBA history.”
After LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers are the top two teams who are expected to compete to become the new ruler of the Eastern Conference over the next decade. The Raptors are also considered a threat in the East, especially after trading DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard, but they still need to make a roster upgrade to catch up with fast-rising teams like the Celtics and the Sixers.
If they succeed to re-sign Kawhi Leonard next summer, the Raptors could chase Anthony Davis in 2020 NBA free agency where they will have enough salary cap space to give him a maximum contract. Having Davis and Leonard on their roster will not only make the Raptors a legitimate title contender, but it will also make Toronto an attractive destination for incoming free agents. As of now, it’s too early to talk about Davis’ free agency, but the All-Star center will surely not waste his prime in New Orleans if they can’t build a title-contending team in the next couple of years.
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