NBA Roundtable: What to Make of Anthony Davis
NBA Roundtable: What to Make of Anthony Davis

This article is part of our NBA Roundtable series.

Welcome to the Week 16 edition of the RotoWire NBA Roundtable. Each week, our NBA staff gets together to answer questions about the biggest topics of the week, both in fantasy basketball and the league overall.

This week, we talk Anthony Davis, All-Star Weekend and more.

Editor's note: This week's roundtable was conducted prior to the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

How much should fantasy owners be concerned that Anthony Davis' trade request could hamper his fantasy value for the rest of the season?

James Anderson: Very concerned. I know it's not a guarantee that he will miss significant time down the stretch in an effort to get a better pick and keep him healthy before he gets traded this offseason, but it could happen. If you invested in AD and he doesn't come back soon, you're pretty much out of luck.

Ken Crites: If he goes to the Lakers, clearly his numbers and LeBron's will take a dip. There are only so many shots and rebounds available. That said, I bet he stays in New Orleans. The Pelicans will wait for this summer to make a deal. Those Lakers youngsters are overrated.

Shannon McKeown: Following the news Marc Stein dropped last night, we're past the point of concern. There's a very good chance the Pelicans don't find a deal before trade deadline, at which point, the team would be best served to keep Davis sidelined for the remainder of the season. Unibrow owners should be looking to deal him immediately. Given his uncertain status for the remainder of the season, I would strongly consider selling him at a vast discount to recoup any potential loss in the event that he is shut down.

Mike Barner: Very. I think it's going to be hard to trade him before the deadline, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him rest a lot down the stretch if he remains on the Pelicans.

Alex Barutha: It would be pretty unprecedented if the Pelicans just shut Davis down for the rest of the year to preserve his value, so that doesn't concern me. And if he gets dealt, he'll still be the focal point of whatever team he goes to.

Jeff Edgerton: I don't think it will be as bad as the Jimmy Butler meltdown, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some drama once his finger heals. I don't expect his usage to dip, though, if he does play.

Alex Rikleen: A lot. There is a non-zero chance that he sits the entire remainder of the season. I'd sell him for two top-40 players at this point.

Sticking with Davis, which under-the-radar team could you see making a play to acquire him before the Feb. 7 deadline?

Anderson: The first one is more realistic: The Nuggets. Lots of people have discussed this one – it would be Jamal Murray and Michael Porter and picks for AD. Denver would give themselves as good of a chance as possible to give the Warriors trouble this year, but specifically next year, assuming the Warriors don't bring everyone back. The second one is less realistic, but I think possible: The Kings. Their ownership group is basically a wannabe Warriors, and they might be crazy enough to convince themselves that they will be able to convince AD to stay long term and create a super team. They have two high-quality, young shooting guards, meaning they could spare one, so one of those would be in the deal plus Marvin Bagley.

Crites: I think the Nuggets will inquire. They have enough assets to get Davis, yet keep Jokic and Murray.

McKeown: Portland makes all kinds of sense. Would CJ McCollum, Zach Collins and picks be enough? Probably not. Toronto, Philadelphia, and Denver could put together interesting offers. My favorite long shot is Phoenix, which could offer numerous young pieces (Bridges, Jackson, etc), a 2019 lottery pick and more while building around a core of Davis, Booker and Ayton.

Barner: I don't think this will happen, but I'd like to see the Nets go after him. If they could someone have the trio of him, D'Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert, that's an intriguing core that might be in a position to attract free agents, as well.

Barutha: Maybe the Pistons if they decide they don't want the Blake Griffin contract anymore and pivot to a tank. They could then flip AD later maybe next season for assets, while the Pelicans can stay in win-now mode with Jrue Holiday and Blake Griffin.

Edgerton: No one, really. The interwebs are packed with far-flung theories and it's difficult to buy into any of them. He bought a house in LA in the offseason – so maybe that means he'd consider the Kings or the Clippers?

Rikleen: I'd love to see the Raptors get him. Double-down on the win-now mandate. Perfectly sets them up to tank in 2019-20 if Davis and Kawhi Leonard leave. Nuggets would be interesting. I don't think it's possible for Portland to get him, but if they could somehow swing "Nurkic and our future", then the Lillard-McCollum-Davis corp would be really fun.

The NBA All-Star reserves will be announced Thursday night. Which players on the borderline do you believe deserve a nod?

Anderson: Brook Lopez and Luka Doncic. The more I watch this Bucks team, the more I think Lopez is the secret sauce. What he does on offense and on defense is something that I don't think any other center in the NBA could duplicate willingly, like he does, with the exception of Nikola Jokic. Doncic should be in, come on. Give the people what they want.

Crites: I love what Tobias Harris is doing for the Clippers. He bet on himself this summer by not accepting LA's extension, and that is looking like a very smart move right now.

McKeown: I've never been shy about expressing my love for D'Angelo Russell. He may be a lock now that Oladipo is out of the mix. In the West, I find it odd that DeMar DeRozan isn't getting more love. I could easily argue, he's putting together the best overall campaign (21-6-6) of his career.

Barner: D'Angelo Russell. He's made tremendous strides this year and has helped lead an injury-riddled Nets team to the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Barutha: Tobias Harris. He's averaging 20 PPG, 7.9 RPG and 2.6 APG and shooting 50.3 FG% and 43.3 3Pt%. He's a huge reason the Clippers are in playoff contention.

Edgerton: In the East, i think Blake Griffin deserves a nod, and Bradley Beal is carrying the Wizards by himself. In the West, Donovan Mitchell kept the wheels rolling in Utah with a litany of injuries in the backcourt. Westbrook is Westbrook, so there's no doubt that he'll be picked. One darkhorse, by Western Conference standards, is Klay Thompson, who had two record-breaking performances in the first half of the season.

Rikleen: With Oladipo out for the year, there's a bonus spot in the East that I'd really like to see Pascal Siakam get. It would also be fun to see either Spencer Dinwiddie or Josh Richardson get in, but I'm not sure they deserve it. I just don't want Andre Drummond or Jimmy Butler to get in. Both have fallen far short of expectations, and Butler spent the first third of his season tanking a Western conference team. In the West, DeMar DeRozan is the borderline case I feel strongly about. DeRozan is crushing his career highs in rebounds and assists and is the main reason that the Spurs, who have their worst top-to-bottom roster in literally 20 years, remain a near-lock for the playoffs.

What are your thoughts on the field for the Rising Stars game? Any glaring omissions, or players you think shouldn't have made it?

Anderson: Nah, it's fine. World team is a little top heavy while the US team is deep and balanced, so should be fun to watch how it plays out.

Crites: Well, it's too bad Pascal Siakam and Tomas Satoransky are both in their third year. They deserve more attention as effective international players.

McKeown: The US squad is stacked. The two weakest members of Team USA would be Lonzo Ball and Marvin Bagley. Wendell Carter would have made the cut, if healthy. Dennis Smith, Jr. (Ball replacement?) and Kevin Knox deserved some consideration, too. That said, both Ball and Bagley were picked No. 2 overall and still have plenty of upside.

The World roster is top heavy, with absolute studs in Doncic, Simmons and Ayton. SGA, Bogdanovic and Markkanen are all deserving, while the remaining of the roster was filled from a admittedly limited pool of players. Given the lack of options, it is surprising to see Frank Ntilikina not get the nod.

Barner: I would have liked to see Mo Bamba in this game, but both rosters are reasonable, for the most part.

Barutha: I think Bam Adebayo should have definitely been included, though I'm not sure who you would take off the U.S. Team.

Edgerton: I wouldn't really consider Simmons a rising star. Technically this is his third year with the Sixers. I also am not sure what Anunoby is doing in there – maybe they were short on World players? If he wasn't injured, Wendell Carter would be on the roster.

Rikleen: It's interesting that there are no Knicks in the field, but I think it makes sense. Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier are simply worse players than everyone on Team US; Frank Ntilikina is better than Josh Okogie, but I can't get upset about the final spot on a Team World squad that is so dramatically inferior to this year's Team US. The US roster is pretty stacked, and I'm actually looking forward to watching this game.

Fantasy-wise, which of the following big men do you believe in most for the rest of the season: Ivica Zubac, Ante Zizic, Kenneth Faried or Jahlil Okafor?

Anderson: Okafor, just because there's a chance AD doesn't play with the Pelicans again, which would make Okafor a top-50 player.

Crites: With Anthony Davis, Tristan Thompson and Clint Capela all returning in early February, and Davis presumably staying in New Orleans (see above), I have to go with Ivica Zubac. He has the best path to major minutes from mid-February to the end of the season. I'm shocked JaVale McGee hasn't done anything wildly stupid yet, but I still have faith.

McKeown: I'm firmly believe Anthony Davis will not be traded and the Pelicans will shut him down for the season. Also, I believe the Pelicans will do everything in their power to trade every other player with value on their team in the next 8 days, which includes Mirotic and Randle. The Pelicans frontcourt will be depleted, leaving the door open for Okafor to build on his current stretch of solid production.

Zubac remains interesting, but the Lakers frontcourt rotation will either continue to be unpredictable or altered by a trade deadline acquisition. Meanwhile, Zazic and Faried will see their value evaporate when Love and Capela return.

Barner: Zubac. Faried's playing time is going to decrease significantly once Clint Capela comes back and even if the Pelicans deal Anthony Davis, Okafor will still have to compete with Julius Randle for playing time. Zizic could be stuck behind Tristan Thompson and maybe even Kevin Love, so I like Zubac's chances of having a larger out of this group. However, in the short term, I prefer Faried without question.

Barutha: Jahlil Okafor. I think he's played himself into essentially a permanent role of 20-25 minutes, even if AD plays the rest of the season.

Edgerton: If Davis gets moved, then you have to consider Okafor. Otherwise, I think Houston got a.steal with Kenneth Faried. He may see a dip when Capela returns but he's earned a spot in the rotation.

Rikleen: Okafor > Zubac > Faried > Zizic. I'd still rather pickup Faried than Zubac, knowing that I'll probably drop Faried when Capela gets back. I'd take one more month of Faried plus an open roster spot in early March over Zubac, if that were an option. I'd rather Okafor over all of them because I'm pretty convinced that Davis' workload throughout the rest of the season will be dramatically cut back, if it exists at all.

Imagine you're a team like the Pelicans or Grizzlies that's likely preparing to enter a rebuild. Rank the following seven young players in terms of how you'd value them as potential trade assets: Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, Kristaps Porzingis, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, D'Angelo Russell, Pascal Siakam.

Anderson: Tatum, Murray, Siakam, Porzingis, Ball, Russell, Gordon

Crites: Tatum, Porzingis, Gordon, Siakam, Murray, Russell, Ball

McKeown: Tatum, Murray, Porzingis, Russell, Siakim, Gordon, Ball

Barner: Porzingis, Russell, Tatum, Ball, Murray, Siakam, Gordon

Barutha: Tatum, Porzingis, Murray, Ball, Russell, Siakam, Gordon

Edgerton: Tatum, Russell, Murray, Gordon, Siakam, Ball, Porzingis

Rikleen: Tatum, Murray, Porzingis, Ball, Siakam, Gordon, Russell

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and award winning host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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