X

NBA Rumors: Randle, Mirotic, Moore Made Available by Pelicans in Trade Talks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 24: Julius Randle #30  Anthony Davis #23 and Nikola Mirotic #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans pose for a portrait during the 2018 NBA Media Day on September 24, 2018 at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

One of the NBA's best players is reportedly on the trade market after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Anthony Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told the New Orleans Pelicans his client is not interested in signing a contract extension and prefers to be moved.

The Pelicans may be sending away more than just the superstar big man.

ESPN's Zach Lowe had colleague Brian Windhorst and Bleacher Report's Howard Beck on The Lowe Post podcast, and the conversation revealed New Orleans would also make available Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic and E'Twaun Moore in trade talks.

The Pelicans appeared to be a candidate ready to make a jump this season after finishing 48-34 and advancing to the second round of the playoffs during the 2017-18 campaign. They returned Davis, Mirotic, Jrue Holiday and Randle and had improved their win totals in each of the last three seasons.

However, injuries and poor play have derailed their 2018-19 efforts, and they sit at 22-28 and in 13th place in the Western Conference.

Trading Davis alone would signal the end of any hopes of immediate contention in New Orleans, as the three-time All-NBA selection has been the franchise cornerstone since it selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. Still, the team has won just one playoff series since that draft and hasn't enjoyed sustained success in the daunting Western Conference.

If moving Davis would signal the start of a rebuilding process, trading some of the other pieces such as Randle, Mirotic and Moore also makes sense.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The more young playmakers and draft assets the Pelicans can accumulate in their trade efforts the better off they will be long term, and that trio isn't talented enough to overcome the departure of Davis even if they are all individually solid role players.

The battle to land Davis as trade talks heat up will generate the most headlines, but contenders could acquire a solid post presence in Randle, matchup problem and shooter in Mirotic, or a wing scorer in Moore.