The Los Angeles Lakers have been said to be a team in turmoil over the past few seasons. Year after year of losing didn’t cone to a halt after acquiring Lebron James last season. A tough campaign mired in injuries and hurt feelings came to an end with one conclusion: this plan isn’t working.
Former team president Magic Johnson told everybody who would listen that his main goal was to bring two superstars to the Lakers. After grabbing James in free agency he made what can be called a desperate attempt to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Well, Johnson is gone and it seems the Lakers have yet again made a desperate attempt to get Davis… but this time it worked.
The Lakers will reportedly send Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis. The fourth overall pick in next Thursday’s NBA draft will be included, giving New Orleans another top five pick to pair with number one overall pick.
For the Pelicans:
With Zion Williamson being the clear cut number one overall pick, the Pelicans main concern will be surrounding him with talent. Vice president David Griffin and recently acquired general manager Trajan Langdon now have a number of draft picks to choose from and it has been rumored more trades could be on the horizon.
With Ball they get a young point guard with great court vision able to set up his teammates in the right spots to make plays. He’s long, athletic and a very good defender.
Ball’s offense has improved from year one to year two. He will have will have to prove he’s healthy after missing 65 games in his first two campaigns, but he has a big upside.
Ingram has become more of an offensive threat since being drafted back in 2016. The 6’9″ forward can shoot, handle and finish at the basket. His smallish 190 pound frame is a concern and he has also missed some time due to injury.
Ingram is able to create his own shot and use his length for separation. Both players should help Williamson get one on one opportunities, especially in half court situations.
With former all-star Jrue Holiday (21.2 points, 7.7 assists per game) locked up for a few seasons, the Pelicans could be a good team right away. Maybe a very good team down the road.
For Los Angeles:
There wasn’t much more the Lakers could have done. Delusions of grandeur that everybody wants to play for the franchise or with James himself are fading. There was no way the team would come back with all of the same players after the shenanigans of 2028-2019.
Call it hurt feelings, call it laziness, or blame it coaching or injury, a change was eminent. Davis is a massive talent and despite what some would say this wasn’t a completely lopsided haul.
With career averages of 23.7 points,10.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, Davis is the perfect player to be the next great Laker big man. Is he the perfect compliment to Lebron James, or is he the perfect star for James to compliment?
Davis most likely is ready to sign a super max contract immediately. Maybe the Lakers are looking at him as the next go to guy to anchor the franchise as James’ is already starting his ride into the sunset.
One thing for certain is that the Lakers and Pelicans both got what they wanted. Time will only tell if both teams really got what they deserved.