After a year of speculating and rumors, it finally happened. The Los Angeles Lakers managed to trade for Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Lakers get: Anthony Davis
Pelicans get: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, ’19 4th pick, top-8 protected in 2021 (becomes unprotected in ‘22), unprotected swap in ‘23, unprotected first in ‘24, unprotected swap in ‘25
We don’t know how all these players will develop but we could sum up the trade like this – New Orleans got the better end of the deal, but the Lakers made a necessary sacrifice and took a reasonable risk. All this within the context that Davis was leaving and he wanted the Lakers – when you get Davis, you’ve won.
The Lakers had the best position to get him, and Rich Paul did everything he could do drive down all the other team’s offers. For instance, the Celtics took Tatum off the table when he reassured them that AD will not resign in Boston. With that in mind, they gave the Pelicans control over their draft for the next 7 years. This is Boston-Brooklyn level stuff.
The Lakers did manage to keep Kuzma out of the trade, and even with his limitations he plays a position in high demand and is a valuable asset that stayed in LA.
Vegas has the Lakers as title favorites for next season. This may impact certain free agent’s decision making (Kemba, Bulter) in leaving some money on the table to go chase a ring with AD and LeBron.
New Orleans has a very good young core, Zion is on his way and a lot of assets to draft or trade. New Orleans is an instant League Pass hit.
The end result of this trade will come down to the draft picks. If Griffin is right and this will not be a dynasty but a flash, those picks could be very valuable.