The first domino of the off-season is a trade that involves superstar Anthony Davis being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first round picks, which includes the fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft on June 21. Two days after the NBA Finals and the offseason begins with a bang, so let’s review the trade and give a grade on the transaction.
New Orleans Pelicans
David Griffin deserves huge props controlling the Anthony Davis situation from the start. Griffin took over as the executive vice president of basketball operations on April 17th and wanted to see if he can talk Davis into staying, which didn’t work, even when the Pelicans won the first overall pick in the lottery draft. The Lakers, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks were the teams trying to acquire Davis, but the Celtics and Knicks had their limits. The Celtics didn’t want to give up Tatum and the Knicks felt that they just didn’t have the assists, and do you blame them since Davis was going to be a year rental?
Let’s look at what the Pelicans got back. They got three young players in Ball, Ingram and Hart and a good package of picks. Ball looks like he could be the starting point guard as they would move Jrue Holiday to shooting guard. If the Pelicans make other moves for a point guard, Ball would be a great player off the bench. Ball could also be a trade candidate later as he has expressed not wanting to play in New Orleans. Ingram has shown the potential of what he can do but needs to be consistent. No doubt Ingram would be a starter in the Pelicans rotation. Hart would be a bench player for the Pelicans.
For the future, it looks bright in New Orleans. First, the Pelicans will select Zion Williamson with the first overall pick, then for the fourth pick, the Pelicans have a bunch of windows. They can choose to select a player or trade the pick away. They could possibly trade the pick for D’Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn Nets if they sign Kyrie Irving. The Pelicans still have two other first-round picks and that can help the bench or develop trade packages for further years.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers paid a steep price, but they got their man. They also got to keep one of their young talented players in Kyle Kuzma. The only issue for the Lakers is… who the hell is on the roster still? LeBron, Davis, Kuzma and… Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jermerrio Jones. The Lakers have enough for one more superstar or build a respectable bench with hoping to find reliable starters in free agency.
A huge need for the Lakers is a point guard and I don’t see the Lakers bringing in Irving after the talks of him being a for sure thing going to Brooklyn. I also don’t see Kemba Walker leaving Charlette. The Lakers have been rumored to sign Jimmy Butler, which would be a nice, but a huge killer towards the player payroll. The bench will be a disaster for the Lakers if they choose to sign another star, and it will be hard to upgrade that bench since the Pelicans own the majority of the Lakers future.
The West is wide open after the heartbreaking injuries the Golden State Warriors had to suffer in the NBA Finals, but the Lakers don’t mind it. The Lakers are already one of the favorites to win it all next year, but I give the Lakers the 2020-2021 season to win it all.