The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off what is considered to be a great trade by acquiring Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans over the weekend. A move this big has placed the Lakers as a favorite to with the 2020 NBA Championship. While it’s still too early to call that, this is one scary lineup. But now the question comes of who won this deal and who lost?
Pairing Davis with LeBron James should automatically put the Lakers as one of the top teams in the Western Conference, especially with the devastating injuries to the Golden State Warriors. But still, is Davis enough and did the Lakers give up entirely too much?
As the dust settles on this trade, there are other players currently not with either team that this move effects. As the free agency period is set to begin, rumors have swirled regarding players such as Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, and even the injured Kevin Durant. Who and how does this mega trade effect this summer?
Here are 3 players affected the most by the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelican trade.
Never did we think that there could be another Irving and James paring after what transpired in Cleveland two seasons ago. With Kriye stating he wanted to be his own man, he was sent to Boston and it appeared the dynamic between the two megastars would not be mended. However, both parties have cleared the air and with Irving opting out of his contract with the Boston Celtics, there was speculation he could rejoin James in LA.
But then the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets came into focus and the Lakers became an afterthought, Well, until Saturday. With the Lakers now having enough room for a third max contract, Irving name is now being mentioned to replace Lonzo Ball as the starting PG. Will Irving change his mind about heading out West or will he stay grounded and remain in the East?
With Butler opting out of his deal with the Philadelphia 67ers, Lakers’ fan are salivating at the mouth. Butler wants a max deal and the thoughts around the league are that the 76ers are set to offer him one. But now, he could join a Lakers’ team set to win a title. While the draw of staying in Philly is huge, a pairing with Davis and James could be hard to pass up.
The Lakers have been thin in terms of a reliable SG since the retirement of Kobe Bryant. Adding Butler will give the Lakers a true perimeter threat in which they lacked in LeBron’s first season out West.
With the Injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors are in trouble. Will they continue with their plans of offering max deals to both or will they cut their losses and move on? With Curry being the one true star left for the 2019-20 season, is he ready and capable of shouldering the load alone?
With the new-look Lakers set to make their way up the standings, will Curry make his case to the front office that something needs to be done? After running the West for half a decade, how long will it take for Curry to get frustrated like most of today’s stars have?
Walker has stated that’s he’s willing to take less to stay in Charlotte. That’s all good and well but the Lakers and Pelicans trade may have changed his mind. The Charlotte Hornets continue to struggle as their front office has not placed the right pieces around their two-time All-Star. Will that be enough to force Walker’s hand?
After the trade, Yahoo Sports reported that Kemba will be the Lakers next target. He’s in the same boat as Kyrie Irving. The Lakers are in need of a PG and if Irving decides to stay out East, then why not go after Walker? The same goes for Jimmy Butler. Walker can easily slide over to SG and provide the team with great outside shooting.
If Kyrie is indeed heading to the Brooklyn Nets, it’s reported they will move on from the short D’Angelo Russell era. This should be great news for the Lakers as they once had the young talent in their grasps but let him go for Lonzo Ball. The Lakers now have a chance to right a wrong.
Adding Russell will be wise not just for the short-term but for when LeBron is no longer around. If they can pair Russell with Davis for the foreseeable future, that will give them two cornerstones to build around for the next 10 years or so.