Anthony Davis Trade Fallout

Lebron James isn’t getting any younger and he needed a top star to be his understudy and help carry the load. Anthony Davis brings that to the table and more for Lebron and the Los Angeles Lakers, but in the end, who get the better of the deal?

In Saturday’s reported trade, the New Orleans swapped out Kyle Kuzma and cap relief in favor of extracting a third first-round pick and unprotected swap rights on the Lakers’ 2023 first-rounder.

The details included: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart; the No. 4 pick in this draft; the Lakers’ 2021 pick only if it falls within the top eight, otherwise converting into the Lakers’ unprotected 2022 first-round pick; swap rights on first-rounders in 2023; and the Lakers’ unprotected first-round pick in 2024, with New Orleans holding the option (at some agreed-upon date) to pass on that 2024 pick in favor of the Lakers’ unprotected 2025 selection.

On paper this looks like a lopsided win for New Orleans and David Griffin, its new executive president of basketball operations, given Davis will be on an expiring contract, and the limited market that emerged in the end for him. 

The Lakers gave up more than any team has in exchange for a superstar, including those with multiple seasons on their contracts.

Perhaps that price is fitting, considering Davis’ age (26), his dominance and that Davis has given the Lakers his word that he will sign a new long term deal with the team after 2020.

Davis for a year isn’t worth this. Davis for the next five or 10 seasons is, even if no other team was prepared to approach this price.

The Los Angeles Lakers could be tight on cap space as they try to fill out their roster following the acquisition of Anthony Davis. 

The All-Star center is not only under contract for $27 million in 2019-20, but he can also receive a trade kicker worth $4 million after being dealt from the New Orleans Pelicans. Although he could waive the fee and give the team more money to spend, that doesn’t seem likely.