Trade the farm, trade Jeanie and Rob, trade them all! These comments are too easily left on the thread before the analysis kicks in. The Los Angeles Lakers shouldn’t trade their entire young core and a lottery pick when a year from now the Lakers can land Anthony Davis in free agency. Laker lore points to big men like Shaq, Wilt, and Kareem coming into LA at the height of their careers to catapult the Lakers back to the Finals. Certainly, Anthony Davis would be the next ‘big man’ jersey hanging in Staple Center next to these names; but are Laker fans truly aware of the risk they are willing to make in acquiring him?
Los Angeles Lakers Should Not Trade for Anthony Davis
Renewed Trade Rumors
Just how great of sacrifice is the prospect of acquiring Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans via trade? The same team that begrudgingly ‘leaked’ the Lakers’ midseason trade offers; trade offers that gave NOLA all the Davis gravity and sent the Lakers’ cohesiveness spiraling out of orbit.
Turns out, there may be some renewed posturing from the Pelicans to want to trade Davis.
As recent as June 4th, reports from David McMenamin have pointed to several sources within the New Orlean’s organization, hinting that trade with the Lakers is very much still on the table.
“I spoke to several people within the Pelicans’ organization in the past several months that have a really high opinion of Brandon Ingram...McMenamin said. “…Beyond just [Ingram], they have a really high opinion of the trade package that was on the table that was ultimately rejected.”
Obviously, this report is significant for keeping the Lakers – Pelicans trade possibilities alive. But it also provides the assets — on the surface — needed for a trade package for Anthony Davis. The Godfather package would likely include Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Moritz Wagner.
Also very likely to be included would be the 4th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. A trade where the Lakers acquire Anthony Davis without giving that pick and a plethora of future first-round draft picks seems highly unlikely.
While the trade trumpets sound off for Jeanie and Rob to sell the farm, traditional mainstream-media keeps forgetting the Lakers were projected to make the playoffs this season before Ball and Lebron James went down. The possibility of not doing the trade for Davis and further developing these young assets remains intriguing to consider.
A Free Anthony Davis or a Year of LeBron’s Prime?
If the Lakers would have acquired AD this past season, then the Lakers would have had him for two playoff runs alongside Lebron. That at least makes a lot more sense than gutting a team that showed real playoff promise before the injury locust swept through our locker room.
This current roster at one point was 4th in the loaded Western conference. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram were playing the best basketball of their young careers. The Lakers also saw key wins against playoff teams. With the 4th pick in the upcoming draft pick and a marque free-agent; the stage is set for Davis to join Los Angeles without sacrificing the depth of the roster.
Weighing the options, waiting until Davis hits free agency in 2020 would be the better alternative in the long-run.
The Old Ways Won’t Work
Remember what happened the last time the Lakers traded for a big man? Surely, Dwight Howard is no Anthony Davis, but that trade also involved an elite center and the prospect of winning the NBA Finals. In many ways, it was the Howard trade that sent the Lakers into a 6-year playoff drought.
Imagine if the Lakers made it to the playoffs against an injured Portland team or even the WCF against an injured Warriors with Lebron James. Consider next year with one free-agent all-star and a playoff push, would that not entice Lebron to sign a long term deal? Imagine AD walking in a year later after Lebron promises to sign that deal and boom: the next 6 Laker years are the LBJ and AD dynasty.