Anthony Davis Trade Rumors: What It Means for Lakers, Pelicans, Davis
These Anthony Davis trade rumors are ridiculous. The memes are incredible…
…but the rumors are ridiculous. Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweeted the following:
Landed in Indy; update on Lakers-Pelicans talks. Magic Johnson, Dell Demps talked twice today, per source. Lakers willing to give Pelicans cap relief for Anthony Davis by taking Solomon Hill for Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ingram, Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Beasley, 2 1st round picks.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) February 4, 2019
So basically the entire core outside of LeBron James, a bunch of journeymen who’d do no good for a rebuilding team, and a couple firsts. The Los Angeles Lakers offered half their team to the New Orleans Pelicans. Yet, did they really offer anything at all?
What An Anthony Davis Trade Means for Lakers
It appears as though the Lakers want to build a triumvirate much like LeBron enjoyed in Miami (Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh) and during his second stint in Cleveland (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love). That’s why they’re willing to trade more than half the roster—including its top three prospects with Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma—when we’re months away from a 2019 free agency period that shall flow with the milk and honey of Irving, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, Tobias Harris, Marc Gasol, Eric Bledsoe, Nikola Mirotic, Nikola Vucevic, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Julius Randle. Those are among the biggest potential unrestricted free agents. If I missed anyone significant, then sorry in advance.
An elite brand should have no problem adding a third superstar with LeBron and Davis. An ideal scenario would have them stealing away Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson from the Western Conference powerhouse Golden State Warriors. That would help them rise while weakening an arch rival.
A triumvirate is an interesting strategy to pursue when one considers Davis’ durability issues. It’s nearly a guarantee that injuries will cost him games. Along with an aging and potentially regressing LeBron, it’s even more important to build a better supporting cast than the constantly re-bandaged roster that the Cleveland Cavaliers used to trot out. The Cavaliers largely got away with that because the Eastern Conference was so weak.
An Anthony Davis Trade is Dumb for Pelicans
What’s the rush? Davis doesn’t become a free agent until after the 2019-20 season. That’s another season-and-a-half. Better offers await them this summer.
Meme creators are having a blast mocking New Orleans for not accepting such a large quantity of assets. I’m sort of seeing it as a Laffer Curve philosophy. The Laffer Curve showed that as tax rates rose, tax revenues increased till a high point. At that point, tax revenues began to decline.
Now replace “tax rates” with “players” and “tax revenues” with “interest.” The Lakers appear so desperate that one must question whether Los Angeles themselves believe they have anything of value outside LeBron. How can the Pelicans get excited about a trade if the other trade partner almost immediately offers their entire franchise for one asset? Captain Obvious here to let everyone know that the Lakers don’t like their team. Why should anyone else then?
Nobody knows more about this young core than Los Angeles. They’ve spent the last two to three years developing that core. Before LeBron joined this season, the 2017-18 Lakers won 35 games. That was with former Lakers and current Pelicans player Julius Randle. When a groin injury sidelined LeBron for more than a month, the Lakers went from 20-14 to 26-25.
Lopsided trade offers indicate a lack of faith in the youngsters. So should history. Ingram, Ball and Kuzma haven’t showcased elite potential. None of them have shown potential 1, 1A/1B, or 2 calibers. At best, they’re role players on a title contender. Considering Davis looks destined for the Hall of Fame, I’d wait to see if something better came around.
Then there’s dealing with LaVar Ball. Ball has already demanded his son not play for New Orleans. Does New Orleans management want to deal with his brazenness? Only if they see something close to All-NBA potential with Lonzo.
An Anthony Davis Trade is not in Best Interest of Anthony Davis
Playing for the Lakers provides an allure to join one of the country’s most prestigious sports brands and align with a player whom is often considered among the all-time greats. Is it worth it to join the team if it requires emptying the cupboard? Remember that LeBron is age 34. Davis has an extensive injury history that earned him the nickname, “Glass.” A Cavaliers-like supporting cast won’t cut it here—quality is a must. When LeBron begins to regress, then what? Maybe this could steal a championship. Why not seek out something that could provide a dynasty?
Do better options lie ahead? This summer, the Boston Celtics could propose a trade featuring higher quality prospects and draft picks. Although Davis’ father has indicated that he doesn’t want his son playing for Boston, don’t forget that Kevin Garnett wanted nothing to do with Boston before he was traded there in 2007. That worked out for both sides.
If Davis values legacy over anything else, then he should reconsider. The Celtics, New England Patriots, and even the Boston Red Sox over the last 15 years showcase a city whose dedication toward its professional sports franchises have generated a tremendous amount of success. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens manages a deep rotation that would better suit them whenever Davis misses time from injuries.
Prepare to laugh, but what about the New York Knicks? They’ve created enough cap space to make a run at a couple top free agents. They should have a chance at a 2019 top-three pick. Davis has expressed a long-term interest in New York. That would require either a trade or 2020 free agency. It’s hard to imagine things falling in place for the perennial laughing stock, but one strong offseason could transform them from Eastern Conference dumpster fire into a playoff contender.
An Anthony Davis Trade with a Smart Plan? Patience
The Pelicans should wait and see what they can get this offseason. Davis should allow things to play out and reconsider his stance toward Boston. Forcing New Orleans to make a rushed decision could end up working against Davis.
Davis has waited this long. Wait a bit longer. Preferable options await him. Don’t become the person who quits right when the rewards are about to disperse.
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Joshua Huffman was born and edumacated in Middle Tennessee. He has published content for Yahoo! Sports (via Contributor Network) and Titan Sized, among other venues. At SoBros, he’ll provide Daily Fantasy Sports suggestions and broad sports coverage. Follow him on Twitter (although I rarely use it).