Before the blockbuster deal that sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers became official, All-Star center Anthony Davis had informed everyone in the NBA, through his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, that he was planning to test the free agency market in the summer of 2020. Davis may currently be having fun playing with LeBron James in Los Angeles, but as of now, he hasn’t given any assurance that he intends to stay with the Lakers beyond the 2019-20 season.
Though most people see him inking a new deal with the Purple and Gold, several teams are still expected to try to steal Davis from the Lakers in the 2020 NBA free agency. According to Fansided’s Lake Show Life, one of the teams that could emerge as a threat to the Lakers re-signing Davis is the Portland Trail Blazers.
To create enough salary cap space to give Davis a max contract, the Trail Blazers would need to move the likes of Jusuf Nurkic and Trevor Ariza this summer. If they want a realistic chance of acquiring a player of Davis’ caliber, sacrificing any player not named Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum should be a no-brainer for the Trail Blazers. As Fansided’s Lake Show Life noted, the successful acquisition of Davis would enable the Trail Blazers to form a “lethal trio” that would help them fully dominate the Western Conference and bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season.
“If the Blazers decided to enter free agency with only Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and their potentially [sic] lottery draft pick in tow, they will have about $50 million in cap space and more than enough funds to get Anthony Davis, excellent role players, and a few ring chasers to fill out the roster. Lillard, Davis, and McCollum would be a lethal trio and the Blazers can afford it while most teams cannot. Again, these are not likely scenarios. However, they are certainly possible if things go awry in Lakerland.”
Davis would tremendously boost the Trail Blazers’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who can efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc. Aside from his ability to space the floor, Davis is also a very reliable scoring option and an incredible rebounder, facilitator, and shot-blocker. This season, the 27-year-old center/power forward is averaging 26.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.5 steals while shooting 51.1 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from beyond the arc.
When healthy, Davis is undeniably capable of turning the Trail Blazers from a mediocre team to a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference. However, as mentioned by Fansided’s Lake Show Life, the only chance that Davis would consider leaving Los Angeles for Portland is if “things go awry” between him and the Lakers.
If they fail to acquire Davis, the Trail Blazers could target other NBA superstars who are expected to be available on the trade market this summer. These include Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Al Horford of the Philadephia 76ers, Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons, and LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs.