Since the successful acquisition of LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka revealed that they are not done yet in upgrading their roster. With their goal to dethrone the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, both executives are definitely aware that they need more star power on their roster.
The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan will become unrestricted free agents. Also, the Lakers have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal before the February NBA trade deadline.
However, the Lakers won’t just throw away their precious trade assets for any superstar. The Lakers made it clear that they are only willing to include Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart in a trade package if they will be acquiring a player of Anthony Davis’s caliber. Most ESPN insiders agree that Davis is the player that the Lakers should target on the trade market.
Unfortunately, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN, Anthony Davis is “extremely unlikely” to be available before the February NBA trade deadline.
“They shouldn’t and won’t, mostly because I don’t know what big trade there is to be made at this point. I’d consider it extremely unlikely Anthony Davis will be traded at the deadline, and the Lakers should certainly wait to see whether Davis is attainable before making another blockbuster trade.”
It’s easy to understand why Anthony Davis is on the top of the list of the Lakers’ trade targets. The potential acquisition of Davis will tremendously improve the Lakers’ performance on both ends of the floor. This season, the 25-year-old center/power forward is averaging 28.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.7 blocks, and 1.8 steals on 51.4 percent shooting from the field and 32.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Pairing Davis with LeBron James will give the Lakers a strong chance of beating the Warriors in a best-of-seven series.
However, since the 2018 NBA offseason, the Pelicans have made it clear to the entire league that they have no intention of trading Anthony Davis before the February NBA trade deadline. The Pelicans revealed that they are planning to give Davis a massive contract extension next summer. If Davis refuses to ink a new contract, it is highly likely that his name will surface again in numerous trade rumors.