The arrival of LeBron James has undeniably turned the Los Angeles Lakers from a rebuilding team to a legitimate playoff contender in the deep Western Conference. However, as of now, the Lakers must be aware that James isn’t enough to take down the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in a best-of-seven series.
Since the successful acquisition of LeBron James, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka revealed that they are not done yet in upgrading their roster. The Lakers currently have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal before the February NBA trade deadline. As of now, the player that is topping the list of the Lakers’ potential trade targets is Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.
As of now, the Pelicans haven’t shown a strong indication that they plan to move Anthony Davis anytime soon. However, according to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, the Lakers should do their best to convince the Pelicans to make a deal before the February NBA trade deadline. If they wait for the 2019 NBA offseason, the Lakers are expected to be in a tight competition with the Boston Celtics in their pursuit for the All-Star center.
“If the Lakers don’t act fast, they’ll allow the Celtics back into the mix. They could have as many as four first-rounders in June 20’s draft, and once Kyrie Irving hits free agency this summer (player option), Boston won’t be prohibited from trading for Davis. The Lakers’ young core is intriguing, but the team can’t compete with the war chest in Boston that includes Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.”
Pelicans owner Gayle Benson was asked about Anthony Davis potentially forcing his way out, and had an altogether mature response. Dan Gilbert should take notes. https://t.co/pPBkFgstiH pic.twitter.com/sVNJgDGnRP— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) January 9, 2019
If they are serious about acquiring Anthony Davis this season, the Lakers should come up with a trade package that will be hard to resist for the Pelicans. Hughes suggested that the Lakers could offer Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, a 2019 first-round pick, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Pelicans for Davis. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Trading Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma is undeniably a tough decision for the Lakers, but in the past months, the Purple and Gold revealed that they are willing to part ways with their young core if it means acquiring a player of Anthony Davis’ caliber. Pairing LeBron James with Davis will tremendously improve the Lakers’ performance on both ends of the floors and give them a real chance of dethroning the Warriors this season.