The NBA is one of the most entertaining sports leagues in the world, filled with elite talent and fraught with storylines that would put your grandmother's favorite soap operas to shame. The most recent of which involves familiar characters in LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Irving, long considered to be a point guard target for LeBron and the Lakers, appears to have shifted course. Now wanting James to join him with the Dallas Mavericks, the eclectic Irving has put the ball in the king's court. Though the Lakers are under no obligation to trade LeBron, even at his request, respect for his stature and trying to navigate a potentially untenable situation could mean the L.A. seriously considers the deal at the behest of James.

If that transpires, the Lakers could then opt to move Anthony Davis as well, capitalizing on his trade value while still 30-years-old and fresh off of a high-level postseason performance. While AD could want to remain even if James were to join the Mavs, there are simply myriad reasons that trading him makes sense, as well as multiple teams that could make an enticing offer for the eight-time All-Star.

3 hypothetical Anthony Davis trades for Lakers if LeBron James actually went to Mavs

Portland Trail Blazers

This trade might make the most sense, as the Portland Trail Blazers are still trying to put together the pieces to build a championship contender around Damian Lillard.

To that point, for as much discussion as there is about Lillard taking his talents elsewhere, the seven-time All-Star is under contract with the Blazers through the 2026-27 season. Not only does that mean Portland has the most leverage in this situation, but it also means that any star that Portland may want to bring over understands that Lillard could be in town throughout their entire contract.

For Anthony Davis, that means that he can continue to play in a competitive environment with an elite scorer as his teammate, which is ideal for him.

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Coming to the Blazers to fill a long-standing position of need at power forward, the defensive capabilities of the four-time All-Defensive selection and three-time block champion may be more important than his ability to score from all three levels.

The best trade between Portland and the Los Angeles Lakers could see the Blazers receiving Davis and the No. 17 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft in exchange for Anfernee Simons, Jusuf Nurkic and the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Such a deal would provide the Lakers with two above-average starters in Simons and Nurkic. The former, a skilled combo guard, averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game last season. The latter, a do-it-all center, has averaged 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block per game over the past five seasons.

If L.A. still plans to re-sign Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, they could then take a player like Villanova forward Cam Whitmore, Alabama forward Brandon Miller or Overtime Elite wing Ausar Thompson with the No. 3 pick in order to fill out their starting lineup.

New Orleans Pelicans

Crazier things have happened, though probably not many.

Nonetheless, the idea of Anthony Davis heading back to the New Orleans Pelicans is enticing at this particular juncture, if only because of the uncertainty surrounding Zion Williamson's future. Williamson is one of the most physically gifted players the league has ever seen, bullying opponents in the paint on the way to a career scoring average of 25.8 points per game. However, having played just 114 games since the 2019-20 season and 29 games over the past two seasons, there's a legitimate reason for the Pelicans to wonder if they need to be looking for a new face of the franchise.

Unfortunately, New Orleans is bonafide playoff contender, and taking their foot off the gas likely doesn't appeal to anyone.

Which is why if AD were to become available, the Pelicans would be wise to acquire the star big man and rebuild their relationship with a player that's still the franchise's all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks.

Both are injury-prone but Davis was far more durable at the start of his career, and slimming back down as he slides back to power forward could be key to him returning to that.

The best trade between the two sides would see the Los Angeles Lakers sending Davis and the No. 17 pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Zion, Kira Lewis Jr. and Naji Marshall.

Lewis, a lottery pick in 2020, could be a valuable rotation player for the Lakers if they continue to excel in the player development department. Marshall, a defensive-minded wing that plays with the gritty mentality often associated with other undrafted players, could be too.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Similar to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Oklahoma City Thunder have a highly touted big man prospect whose future in the league is a little unclear thanks to early injury concerns.

Chet Holmgren, a skilled forward-center prospect at 7-foot-o and 190 pounds, has plenty of two-way upside at 21-years-old. However, missing what was supposed to be his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury, the fanfare surrounding the high school phenom turned Gonzaga star has cooled down a bit.

Still, the Thunder are edging closer to playoff contention, largely due to the growth of star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Pairing SGA with another star then becomes imperative should Oklahoma City want to accelerate their timeline. Fortunately for the Thunder, they have as great a collection of money, draft capital and young prospects as any team.

Perfect for a team like the Los Angeles Lakers, who could go on a full-on rebuild mode if they choose to trade LeBron James to the Dallas Mavericks.

The best trade between the Lakers and Thunder could require L.A. to send Davis, the No. 17 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and a future first round pick to OKC in exchange for a package centered around Holmgren and Josh Giddey.

Holmgren has the potential to be a lot like Davis as a player, though it will take time for him to develop into that type of player. However, Giddey should make a major impact as their starting point guard from Day 1, and might be their most creative passer at the position since Magic Johnson himself.