After missing the Western Conference Playoffs for the sixth straight year, the Los Angeles Lakers are planning to be more aggressive in pairing LeBron James with other NBA superstars in the 2019 NBA offseason. As of now, one of the players who is topping the list of the Lakers’ trade targets is Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Despite failing to secure a deal before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers are still highly expected to resume their pursuit of Davis next summer.
Since the straight up trade didn’t work in their previous negotiation, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report suggested that bringing in a third party could help the Lakers and the Pelicans get a done deal. Swartz proposed that the Lakers and the Pelicans could ask the Washington Wizards for help in facilitating a blockbuster trade.
In the hypothetical trade scenario by Bleacher Report, the Lakers will get Anthony Davis, the Pelicans will receive Bradley Beal, Brandon Ingram, and the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, while the Wizards will acquire Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The deal will enable both the Lakers and the Pelicans to become a more competitive team in the Western Conference in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“Pairing Davis with a rested LeBron James, one who averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists at age 34, should mean a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. Adding a third star in free agency to a roster that still has Josh Hart and Mo Wagner could make them serious Finals contenders if James stays healthy and doesn’t have to manage his load too often. The Pelicans avoid a rebuild by adding Beal, and Ingram showed elite scoring potential for stretches last season. New Orleans would also have two top-10 picks entering the draft.”
Latest @BleacherReport How the Lakers and Knicks Might Approach the Anthony Davis Saga as July Nears - what $ options do the teams have to make sure they're not just getting AD for one year (if the Pels do decide to move him in a couple of weeks) https://t.co/krc7CzeC0T— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 3, 2019
The successful acquisition of Anthony Davis and another big name on the free agency market will undeniably turn the Lakers from one of the worst NBA teams in the league to a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference. Even just the idea of the Anthony Davis-LeBron James tandem will make the Lakers a very dangerous team, especially if both superstars avoid injury during the season.
The core of Jrue Holiday, Bradley Beal, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson will give the Pelicans lots of scoring potentials. If those players grow together and build good chemistry, the Pelicans could become a serious threat in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the deal only makes sense for the Wizards if they have finally decided to undergo a full-scale rebuild. That could only be made possible if the Wizards succeed to find a team who is willing to absorb John Wall and his lucrative contract.