Davis, who is only 25, is averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. While a plethora of teams will be calling Pelicans GM Dell Demps for a shot at one of the five best players in the NBA (most notably the Los Angeles Lakers), it is the Boston Celtics that have exactly what New Orleans is looking for: talented young players and a ton of draft capital. But, unfortunately, the Celtics won’t get to partake in the fun until this offseason, assuming they aren’t willing to trade Kyrie Irving.
So why can’t the C’s put together a package as competitive as the Lakers right now? Because both Davis and Irving signed their contract extensions under the “Rose Rule”, which is named after Derrick Rose since he was the first player to sign such an extension. The “Rose Rule” allows certain players coming off their rookie-scale contracts to earn 30% of the salary cap as opposed to 25%. To be eligible, a player must have achieved one of three accolades during the first four seasons of his career: MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, or two All-NBA selections.
For the sake of competitive balance, NBA teams cannot trade for more than one player who has signed an extension under the “Rose Rule”. If you remember, Boston traded for Irving who is currently on a “Rose Rule” extension, which basically means the Celtics either have to trade Irving, or wait until July 1st to make a move for Davis.
This is exactly why I don’t see the Pelicans moving Davis until the offseason, when the Celtics can get involved and start a bidding war. In the meantime, teams like the Lakers and anyone else even thinking about AD, need to push their chips “all-in”.
Personally, I’d love to see a three-way Lakers-Celtics-Pelicans deal take place where Irving ends up in LA to play with LeBron James, Davis in Boston, and all the assets in New Orleans. That would break the internet…