A year after they assumed front office roles, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka have fulfilled their promise to bring a superstar in Los Angeles with the acquisition of LeBron James in the recent free agency. However, that is just the start for the purple and gold as Johnson and Pelinka are still planning to chase another big name who can help James carry the Lakers to the NBA Finals and add another championship banner at Staples Center.
The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where several NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan are expected to become unrestricted free agents. Aside from the free agency market, the Lakers also have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster trade before the February NBA trade deadline.
As of now, one of the players who is topping the list of Lakers potential trade targets is Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Davis is currently focused on helping the Pelicans make a huge impact in the deep Western Conference, but rumors and speculation continue to circulate that the All-Star center could soon leave New Orleans. In a potential deal with the Pelicans, the Lakers will need to give up some of their young players, and according to a Twitter post by Brandon Robinson of Scoop B, Brandon Ingram will be the center of the trade package to acquire Anthony Davis from New Orleans.
Report: Anthony Davis trade to Lakers been 'in the works for years' https://t.co/pvX5LjZPCT can teams like New Orleans get better and compete if Stars are always going to the west coast or to the hotter sexier team
— Pat McMahon (@Pat100McMahon) November 28, 2018
To match Anthony Davis’ salary, a source reportedly told Scoop B that veteran shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be part of the deal.
“To match salaries, KCP will be dealt. (KCP eligible to be traded after Dec15). If it’s a straight-up trade with the Pelicans, Lonzo will be in the deal, but the Lakers will be asking for Elfrid Payton or Ian Clark in return.”
After a poor start, Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton decided to demote Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the bench. Caldwell-Pope surprisingly played well in the Lakers’ second unit, and with his current performance, he becomes a more valuable trade asset for the team. However, before including him in any trade discussions, the Lakers will first need to ask his permission since he has a 15 percent trade kicker on his contract.
As of now, there is no official information that can confirm if there is an ongoing trade negotiation between the Lakers and the Pelicans involving Anthony Davis. Expect more rumors to circulate as the February NBA trade deadline approaches.