There have been numerous, ear-deafening rumors surrounding the futures of Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo respectively. The word is both players will be included in a 5-player deal that will send Davis to the Chicago Bulls and Rondo to the New Orleans Pelicans. Here’s the thing about this possible trade, both teams are still out of the playoff picture as we speak. The Pelicans are currently 10th in the Western Conference while the Bulls are 9th in the Eastern Conference. If the trade pushes through, one team will definitely go up the standings while the other, will probably find it difficult to climb out of the bottom. The question is, which team will benefit more, assuming the trade pushes through and will not be vetoed by Adam Silver? Let’s take a look at the stars involved.
Anthony Davis has been the very backbone of the Pelicans’ offense and defense ever since he came aboard 5 seasons ago. Through 37 games of the 2016-2017 season, Davis is averaging an NBA second best 29 points per game. He’s also norming 37 minutes per night (ranked 4th in the league) and his 12 rebounds per game ranks him 6th overall in the NBA. He’s also leading the Pelicans in steals and blocks respectively. Imagine if those stellar numbers are to be taken away from Alvin Gentry and the rest of the Pelicans. I don’t think even Rajon Rondo’s possible arrival will help the Pelicans rise up to any noticeable level. Davis’ shoes are too big to fill and not to mention, Rajon Rondo of the 2016-2017 season is no longer the same Rajon Rondo of the 2008 Boston Celtics champion team. If the deal surrounding Davis and Rondo pushes through, I don’t think the Pelicans will still have an opportunity at catching that 8th spot in the West. Trading away Anthony Davis for four players is a suicide even if it includes Rajon Rondo. Mind you, folks, Anthony Davis IS STILL in his prime.
Now, let’s shift the talk to Rajon Rondo, as he’s been bouncing from one team to another primarily due to his inability to stay healthy. Let’s say age has been a part of Rondo’s deterioration from one of the elite point guards in the league to an under-performing star whose arrival in Chicago has rose expectations that the Bulls can finally take down the big guns in the East. When Rondo and Dwayne Wade arrived in Chicago, everyone was excited. The Bulls have their own Big 3, as I heard from many fans, however, Rajon Rondo is under-performing. While it is true he ranks 10th in the league when it comes to assists per game, Rondo is averaging a lowly seven points per game, a far cry from his 11 points per game during his stint with the Sacramento Kings last season.
Rondo is also disrupting the Bulls’ offense, committing two turnovers per night, ranking him 10th among point guards in most turnovers per game. If the Bulls receive a healthy Anthony Davis in exchange for Rondo plus three more players, the Bulls are arguably assured of a playoff spot to say the least. Why? Imagine Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade and Anthony Davis in one team — Now that’s a Big 3.
Let’s set aside the possible chemistry issues and health issues for the Bulls. Which team will benefit from the deal assuming it somehow pushes through? My choice of course, the Bulls. The Bulls’ front line will definitely strengthen, as they will have Davis at center, Taj Gibson at power forward, and Jimmy Butler. With Rondo gone, the point guard position would then focus on Michael Carter-Williams. The Bulls will now have the luxury to let the young guns play because they don’t have to worry about managing Rondo’s minutes. At the same time, Chicago will have a new star in Davis, as he will certainly fill the void left by Pau Gasol who left for San Antonio. Assuming that this deal pushes through, the future looks bright for the Bulls. Who knows? Give them a few years together and we might see them battling the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.