Right now, the Los Angeles Lakers are basically LeBron James and a few role players and some promising young talents like Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.
That has been good enough so far to get the Lakers to 18-13 and into the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. If they want to win a championship, however, it’s widely believed they’re going to need to add another superstar.
So, of course James indicated he would be extremely eager if the Lakers were to bring in, say, perennial All-NBA first-teamer Anthony Davis.
LeBron James sure would like it if the Lakers added Anthony Davis
Speaking with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin about the prospect of the Lakers trading for Davis, James plainly stated his preferences.
“That would be amazing,” James reportedly said. “That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible.”
The conversation reportedly came up when James saw Adrian Wojnarowski discuss the Lakers’ trade priorities on ESPN:
“They’re not going to give away picks and their top young players in some deal that makes them incrementally better this season because they’ve got to save all those assets for Anthony Davis, a big trade this summer pre- or post-free agency,” Wojnarowski said. “That’s why they’ve looked at players who are on one-year deals who don’t have money going forward.”
Per ESPN, Davis is under contract for next season with a player option for 2020-21 and is eligible to sign a supermax extension next summer with the Pelicans for $239 million over five years. If he were traded, he could sign a max extension with his new team in 2020 for five years and $205 million. And if he hits plain free agency, he can get four years and $152 million from any team with cap space in 2020.
Adding Davis would obviously be a significant financial commitment, but the idea of a Lakers team featuring arguably the two most versatile players on the planet sure sounds like a true title contender.
Davis is currently averaging 28 points, 12.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while playing his usual elite defense, but that hasn’t stopped the Pelicans from finding themselves at 12th in the Western Conference standings at 15-16.
It’s also worth noting that Davis signed with Klutch Sports in September, so he now shares an agent with James in Rich Paul.
How could the Lakers trade for Anthony Davis?
We’ve established why the Lakers want Davis. He’s good enough to make them a contender and good enough to justify a possibly astronomical salary.
On the other hand, the Pelicans are only going to want to ship off their superstar, who already holds the team’s all-time scoring record at 25 years old, if they can receive enough young talent to quickly rebuild.
“If you can trade [Davis] for anybody, then he is the most valuable guy in the league. Not that we would ever consider that,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said in October. “There’s no one in the league that we would trade him for, and there’s no one out of the league — not even Beyonce. If we wouldn’t trade him for her, he’s probably untouchable.”
So Ball, Kuzma or Brandon Ingram aren’t going to cut it by themselves. Even if the Lakers offer some combination of the three and more, including draft picks, there’s no guarantee they’ll have the best offer on the table.
The Boston Celtics are also very interested in Davis and have a treasure trove of young assets to throw at the Pelicans. But then again, Los Angeles does have Beyoncé.
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