The New Orleans Pelicans have two of the best big men in the league right now – Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins – and they are expected to contend in the tough Western Conference. However, if things don’t go well as planned, the Pelicans might be forced to trade Davis mid-season and go into full rebuilding mode in 2018. According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, the Boston Celtics are expected to make a run at Davis if his partnership with Cousins falters. However, the Phoenix Suns should not be counted out as they can assemble the right package that may convince the Pelicans to part ways with Davis, according to Lucas Johnson of

The Suns have talented young players, veterans and draft picks that can be useful to the Pelicans if they decide to go into rebuild mode, which is the only option if the combination of Davis, Cousins and point guard Jrue Holiday will not work. No team will be interested in Cousins as he is in the last season of the four-year, $65.6 million deal that he signed with the Sacramento Kings unless he commits to signing a long-term deal. Holiday’s huge $128 million contract cannot attract a trade partner, leaving Davis as their most valuable asset in a trade.

According to Johnson, the Pelicans may trade Davis and center Omek Asik to the Suns for a young power forward in Dragan Bender, small forward T.J.

Warren, Jared Dudley, center Tyson Chandler and the Miami Heat’s protected 2018 first-round pick. If the Suns acquire the Pelicans big man, they will have solid starting unit in Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, and Davis. The first overall pick by the Pelicans in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis averaged 28.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 75 games last season.

He recently signed a five-year, $127 million deal with New Orleans last season.

Davis-Cousins combo yet to deliver for Pelicans

The Pelicans may have one of the best frontcourt tandems in the NBA, but Davis and Cousins have yet to prove their worth to the team. The two have yet to play a full season together as Cousins was just acquired by the Pelicans at February’s trade deadline.

However, Cousins failed to deliver as the Pelicans finished with a 34-48 mark last season.

Davis downplays trade rumors

In an interview with William Guillory of the Times-Picayune, Davis shrugged off trade rumors involving his name. The big man stressed that he would only believe it when he hears it from Pelicans general manager Dell Demps or his agent. Davis and his agent, Thaddeus Foucher, recently met with Demps, who assured them that he would not be traded.