The Anthony Davis saga has been going on since before the trade deadline happened, blowing up both the Pelicans and the Lakers seasons. Now, we finally have a resolution and it will result in Anthony Davis heading where he wanted to go all along and that is to play alongside LeBron James as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
In the deal the Pelicans will be receiving Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and three first-round picks, including the number four overall pick in this years draft.
For Los Angeles
This couldn’t be more of a home run. Anthony Davis has been an All-Star in every season he’s been in the league besides his rookie season and in that time he’s scored over 11,000 points, grabbed just over 4,900 rebounds and has blocked over 1,100 shots, including leading the league in blocked shots twice.
The only concern about Davis should be that he’s never played more than 75 games in a season, but when he has been on the floor he is one of the better two-way players in the league, being someone who is elite in the pick and roll, he can post up and get his own points and while he’s not a great three-point shooter he has shown over the last four seasons that he can at least be somewhat of a threat around the arc.
On top of all that he can really shoot in the midrange, making him someone who can dominate in either the pick and roll or in the pick and pop.
On the defensive end he’s an elite rim protector and he has the ability to switch onto perimeter players when he gets put into screens.
What makes this deal even better for the Lakers is they are getting Anthony Davis without having to give up Kyle Kuzma. Reports were out there that they were reluctant to give him up and I got wanting to have Kuzma because he can really stretch the floor, but I thought the Lakers were foolish to not want to give him up for Anthony Davis and now they have gotten Davis without having to give up Kuzma.
Giving up the fourth-pick is also tough, but the odds you were going to draft a player of Davis’s caliber is really slim, so that’s a really easy decision to make.
With this trade the Lakers will now have two superstars as they look to be a title contender and they will still have the room to potentially sign a guy like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker once free agency starts to add a third star.
What I love about the Davis/LeBron pairing is that Davis isn’t a dominant ball handler so as of right now it will give LeBron autonomy when it comes to handling the ball, but obviously they still could pick up a guard who could be a ball dominant player, which wouldn’t be the worst thing at this point in LeBron’s career.
For New Orleans
You’re usually never going to get equal value in the NBA when you trade a player of Anthony Davis’s caliber just because true superstar game-changers are not all that common in this league and in terms of the players they got in this deal that is the case once again.
Now with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram they did pick up two guys who are capable of starting and Josh Hart can be a nice bench contributor, so while they didn’t get anything close to Anthony Davis they did get some nice pieces but I really like getting three first-round picks.
We will have to wait and see on the conditions of those first-round picks, but the Lakers are likely going to be good so they probably won’t be very good picks besides the number four pick in this seasons draft.
David Griffin will have to nail this draft or else New Orleans will be irrelevant for who knows how much longer.
The good thing is they have the first overall pick, which they will use on Zion Williamson and it’s hard to imagine him not at least being a good NBA player, but with this deal they will need him to be a star, which is something I think will happen. If he develops into a star then adding Lonzo, Ingram and Hart could be nice.
The key pick for Griffin though becomes the fourth overall pick. The first three picks in this draft feel pretty cemented but starting at fourth the draft could really go anywhere and who the Pelicans pick with that pick will have a huge impact on how we view this trade in the future for New Orleans.
As of right now I don’t love this trade for New Orleans, but I’m going to reserve full judgement on it until they’ve used all the picks they will be receiving.
Top Photo: Scott Threlkeld/Associated Press