After suffering another massive defeat from the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers are no longer expected to compete in the Western Conference Playoffs this season. Most people believe that the Lakers’ 2018-19 NBA season is already over, and as of now, they are waiting to see what President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelina are planning to do in the 2019 NBA offseason.
NBA Insiders from ESPN recently discussed several topics about the Lakers, including the things they could do to legitimize their chance of winning the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season. For ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the “realistic best-case outcome” for the Lakers in the summer of 2019 is to acquire both Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis to form the “NBA’s scariest trio” with LeBron James in Los Angeles.
“Kyrie Irving, who made a point to let the world know that he had mended fences with LeBron, bolts Boston for a reunion with his championship co-star in L.A. That causes the Celtics not to go all in on a trade offer for Anthony Davis, forcing the Pelicans to negotiate in good faith with the Lakers, who would suddenly have the NBA’s scariest trio.”
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) March 4, 2019
If Kyrie Irving decides to part ways with the Celtics, the Lakers shouldn’t think twice before offering him a max contract. Irving will give the Lakers an All-Star caliber point guard who knows LeBron James very well. Without Irving on their roster, it is less likely that the Boston Celtics will still push through with their plan to engage in a blockbuster deal with the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA offseason to acquire Anthony Davis.
As Dan Devine of The Ringer noted in his recent article, Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge “would decide against putting his best offer” for Davis if they lose Kyrie Irving in free agency. This could force the Pelicans to resume trade talks with the Lakers, who offered their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac before the February NBA trade deadline.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyrie Irving will still need time to build good chemistry. But if they really join force in Los Angeles, no one can argue that they are the scariest trio the NBA has ever seen. Winning an NBA championship title in their first season of playing together could easily convince Davis to sign a long-term deal with the Lakers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.