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Rumor: Bucks offer to trade Pelicans anyone besides Giannis Antetokounmpo for Anthony Davis

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 13: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans fights for the ball with Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks at Smoothie King Center on December 13, 2017 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. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Anthony Davis’ list reportedly emerged a few months ago: Pelicans, Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and Knicks. Now, it might be even shorter: Lakers.

But just because Davis prefers a certain trade destination doesn’t mean New Orleans will accommodate him. If the Pelicans trade Davis, it’ll be to the team that offers the most. Though Davis can influence the process by saying where he would and wouldn’t re-sign, any team can enter the mix.

Like the Bucks.

Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box:

This seems like hyperbole.

A trade that meets salary-matching rules: Davis for Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Malcolm Brogdon, Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson, Thon Maker, Sterling Brown and Christian Wood.

Would Milwaukee really do that? It’d destroy the first-place Bucks’ depth and balance, particularly floor-spacing. Davis and Antetokounmpo would be an elite-talent pairing, but the fit would be extremely tough with a dearth of shooters.

And though the overall value would be good for the Pelicans, this trade doesn’t directly help the much. The incoming players probably wouldn’t lift 13th-place New Orleans into the playoffs this season. Middleton and Lopez would be unrestricted free agents after the season. Then what? If they left, the Pelicans would be left with a piddling return for Davis. Perhaps, Middleton and Lopez could be re-routed elsewhere in a multi-team trade, but that gets complicated quickly.

Milwaukee might aggressively try to trade for Davis. Though they’ve performed excellently so far this season, the Bucks could have a tricky time keeping this roster intact this summer. A proactive move like trading for Davis makes sense.

But a big part of Milwaukee’s strength is chemistry. Ruining that, even for Davis, is a huge downside. And players who fit the Bucks incredibly well don’t necessarily add as much for New Orleans.

So, it’s tough to see a great trade fit here.