The Los Angeles Lakers could have looked a lot different this season with a big trade for All-Star center Anthony Davis. Davis, who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans, has been asking to be traded for a couple weeks. His goal was to find a talented team that he could compete for a championship with. His current team hasn’t seen a championship run, or even made it past the second round of playoffs. With the loss of DeMarcus Cousins at the end of last season, it is unlikely that Davis will see any more chances with the Pelicans.
There are few teams that Davis could end up with to make this run, as well as a few that he hoped to be traded to. The teams included the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers. With the trade deadline ending Thursday, many wondered what will happen to him.
Due to his talent as a player, many teams hoped to acquire Davis. The Lakers were the best bet for this trade, due to ample young players on the roster and a plethora of draft capital at their disposal. The key to this trade is Davis’ desire to play with small forward LeBron James, who has been a golden ticket to the NBA Finals for the past eight years. In addition, Davis signing with James’ agent Rich Paul in the offseason slowly began to build this connection. Los Angeles put together a massive trade proposal for New Orleans, but the trade was declined as the Pelicans wanted even more draft capital. The trade proposal included power forward Kyle Kuzma, point guard Lonzo Ball, small forward Brandon Ingram, point guard Rajon Rondo, shooting guard Lance Stephenson, forward Michael Beasley and two first-round picks. The Lakers were willing to give up all of this, essentially an upgrade for the Pelicans at every position outside of center, just for Davis. The two first round picks, with the 2020 first rounder being protected, were quite the addition on top of the massive amount of players being offered for Davis. This trade not only would have helped the current state of the Pelicans by giving them a better foundation, but it would give the Lakers another strong piece to compete against the stacked Golden State Warriors. While Lakers’ general manager Magic Johnson may have been sending an incredibly unbalanced trade, the Pelicans didn’t find the value to be high enough in exchange for their franchise’s only strong player.
This makes people wonder what the Pelicans are looking for. With the Lakers having so many good players, it would only make sense to go through with the trade. The Pelicans will surely have a decent draft pick this year as well. So those picks along with the Lakers’ picks would have been extremely helpful for the future of the team. Most other teams are unable to pay up at this level for a player like Davis. The Celtics have the young talent to make this trade happen as well, however they are not a team that Davis has expressed interest in.
The Celtics will be able to make a trade this summer, so the decision of the Pelicans may mean that this is a possibility. With rumors of point guard Kyrie Irving leaving to join the New York Knicks, it is uncertain what the team’s future will look like, as well as what trades will happen.
In the end the fate of Davis is unclear. Nothing occurred before the deadline, so now we can only wait for summer. With so many teams lacking the talent to take on a team like the Warriors, it is important to have someone like Davis on their roster. Whatever trade is made will surely change the standings around the NBA.