The Anthony Davis Trade Analysis
The streets of L.A. were busy as usual, but it was definitely buzzing when the news broke that Anthony Davis was on the move. Once again, the hopes and dreams of the Lakers had a palpable pulse rate. You could feel it in the air. But does this mean that this will give Los Angeles Lakers immediate title hopes? Let’s review.
The city of Los Angeles’ fandom was in flux. The Clippers made great strides, improved to the playoffs and took the Golden State Warriors to six games when a sweep was almost guaranteed. Jerry West orchestrated multiple roster moves to improve the team. The Lakers had an injury plague season to include Lebron James missing 17 games. Before the injuries, they were a top-four seed in the Western Conference and literally beat the stuffing out of the Warriors on Christmas Day on primetime television.
Now, the Lakers have title aspirations again. They are favored to win a title in 2020, according to Vegas. But, Lavar Ball guaranteed that the Lakers would not win a title if they traded Lonzo Ball. Magic Johnson wanted to trade him anyway, but the whispers of the organization led to his departure from the managerial duties. Then, the current front executives, Rob Pelinka, did the unfathomable. He executed the blockbuster trade.
Anthony Davis was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first round picks to include the coveted third pick of the 2019 draft. This actually leaves the Lakers with one max contract spot without going into the luxury tax threshold. It is estimated that $30 million is available to lure in Kemba Walker or Jimmy Butler, which are the Lakers to free agent targets according to many sources. Reminder: Anthony Davis gets an additional $4 million for being traded as a kicker.
The Lakers would be in a unique position by having three max contract players that didn’t cause them to go over the salary cap. This is unheard of. However, it is known throughout many circles that championship caliber teams with have dip into the luxury tax threshold. Why you ask? You will need a capable and dependable bench to provide rest and relief for your star players to prevent overwork and load management issues.
The narrative is that the Lakers may have given up too much to get Anthony Davis. Let us remember what this organization is. This is a win now organization. It will always be. Lebron James’ prime basketball years is at stake. Three mediocre years will be an embarrassment. The Lakers have not been to the playoffs since 2013. Championship aspirations must be met by outside thinking from the organization. The young core of the Lakers is gone, except for the heralded Kyle Kuzma who rose to occasion consistently throughout the year. Regardless of feelings and opinions, the Lakers’ title hopes now have a palpable pulse. Will this be the move that leads to the Lakers’ 17th championship? Who knows? Stay tuned.