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What the Miami Heat can do to acquire Anthony Davis

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Davis has informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he will not sign an extension, thus making him a free agent in 2020.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

First, let’s just go ahead and make it known that this is going to be really hard for the Miami Heat to pull off.

But, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Anthony Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, has informed the New Orleans Pelicans that his client will not sign an extension with the team and will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.

Telling them this ahead of the February 7 deadline is in best interest of all parties, as Davis is hoping for a trade to a team that can help him compete for a championship. This isn’t the first time we have seen this, but it has been handled in different ways.

Kyrie Irving, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have all gone through this recently and the return for a player of this caliber is increasing. Kyrie was the only player traded that didn’t send back immediate All-Star talent, even though he was an All-Star the previous year.

The Pelicans have plenty of time to figure this out and are not rushed this season to make a deal if they choose to do so. Even so, they have said before, “we aren’t trading Anthony Davis.”

So what type of realistic shot do the Miami Heat have at acquiring Anthony Davis?

You know that Pat Riley is going to be intrigued. He’s been looking for a franchise changing player, but hasn’t been able to get the right deal done to make it happen. The biggest obstacle for the Miami Heat is that any combination of players they send to the Pelicans is going to leave them with few talented players moving forward.

The most appealing package they can put together, to make salaries work, is going to be Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo and James Johnson for Davis and maybe Frank Jackson. But that leaves the Heat void of two of their growing pieces moving forward. Does a Hassan Whiteside, Anthony Davis, Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic starting lineup close the gap in the East?

Davis Heat trade 2019

And even at that, New Orleans isn’t getting back an All-Star. The Pacers didn’t either, but Victor Oladipo quickly became one. The Spurs got back DeMar DeRozan. So maybe there is room for the Heat to sell Josh Richardson as that and make it work.

But the likelihood that the Heat’s best offer in the table won’t be good enough to satisfy the Pelicans. Anthony Davis is a superior talent, and one that could change the landscape of the Heat’s future if they were able to acquire him.

Adding in draft picks (which are slim) and listening to what New Orleans would really want is key. But in addition to all of this, the Heat are going to want assurances that Anthony Davis would resign with the team. They wouldn’t send their future for a player that they are unsure if he will stay or go...especially with the potential of LeBron James continuing to lure him to Los Angeles.

It seems the Heat will be on the outside of this, but I can almost guarantee you they will try to get involved.