After getting rid of Chris Paul, Anthony Davis became the cornerstone of the Pelicans’ rebuild. Davis is a legend of the game as he’s already instilled himself as a top 75 NBA player of all time. After years of hard work and playoff failure, he set his sights to team up with LeBron James in Los Angeles. With years removed from this and a championship, here’s how both teams are graded on the trade.
Grading the Anthony Davis to the Lakers Trade
The Build Up
James decided to sign with the Lakers in the 2018 offseason. He saw a vision of glory with a great franchise and an amazing young core. This vision didn’t last too long as the Lakers failed to make the playoffs the first year due to a James injury. James saw little help as no other player on the team broke 20+ points. He knew a change was needed if he wanted to achieve this glory.
Davis was a disgruntled star as he didn’t believe the Pelicans were doing everything in their power to win. Davis saw two playoff appearances in seven years with the Pelicans. The Pelicans and Davis experiment seemed to be a failure. Davis’ contract was shortly coming to an end and the Pelicans were becoming desperate.
The Championship Lakers
The Lakers finally pulled the trigger on a Davis trade to get James some help. They sent Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks for Anthony Davis. The Lakers finally had two stars in Los Angeles and were ready to compete. In a weird Covid year they finished 52-19 and were the first seed in the west. They then won the NBA championship after fighting through the bubble.
The Pelicans Fresh Start
The Pelicans were afraid they wouldn’t retain Davis in free agency so they made him available on the trade market. In return, they brought in three decent young players as well as a lot of draft capital. This may have been one of their best decisions as they got Zion Williamson in the draft. Ingram also blossomed into an All-Star and a great cornerstone for the franchise. The loss of Davis was mitigated due to the Pelicans having a new bright future.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers receive an A for this trade. A team should be willing to give up any assets in order to win a championship. The Lakers did just that. They did give up a future All-Star in the trade, but in return received a future Hall of Famer. Davis and the Lakers have made the playoffs two of the last three years.
Davis has also seen great personal success for this team. In Davis’ first year with the Lakers, he averaged 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds. Injuries have hurt any future success but he’s still only 29 years old and could be the future for the Lakers. The Lakers do have an uncertain future as they have great stars but not great pieces around them. If the Lakers can keep up the same level of success they’ve had in the past though this will truly be a monumental move for them.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans receive an A for this trade as well. This truly win-win trade gave away a disgruntled star and allowed the Pelicans to obtain great young players in the process. The Pelicans have made a lot of great moves and have positioned themselves to have one of the brighter futures in the league.
This grade would be lower if they didn’t luck out with Williamson in the draft. The combination of having Williamson and Ingram moving forward for the future is perfect for this young team. They’re remaining competitive as they just made the playoffs, yet have multiple players not yet in their prime that’ll help the future. They also have multiple first-round picks and pick swaps that’ll help as the Lakers have a somewhat bleak future. This trade may be the perfect reset that put the Pelicans into true contention.