Anthony Davis’ addition to the Los Angeles Lakers guarantees very little to either party except that the team will pay through the teeth. Davis’ trade saga with the New Orleans Pelicans in which he refused to re-sign and then demanded a trade, is nearly over. But an entirely new saga is about to take place in LA. Davis will wish he was back in New Orleans when the bright lights and intense scrutiny of the media dissect every move he makes as a Laker.
The 2019-20 season will see Davis earn over $27 million and be the team’s second highest paid player behind the ageing LeBron James. The pair are currently the only two members of the Lakers team that will earn over $10m when the season tips off.
The Lakers are in the midst of an overhaul, but is Davis really the player they need to be a contender?
What are the Lakers getting?
Davis’ injury record is worrying especially with James struggling through last season with injuries from carrying the Lakers on his back. James will be 35 before the 2019-20 NBA season ends and the Lakers won’t make the postseason if both, he and Davis, spend much of the season on the bench.
The center missed 26 games for the Pelicans last season. Of course, some of those games were the Pelicans choice to sit the big man as they worked out a possible midseason trade. But Davis still experienced plenty of healthy issues including a back injury, spasms, and other problems that sidelined him.
NBA league insiders are of the belief that the Lakers have given up their future to sign Davis and pair him with James. The Davis trade means the Lakers will be counting on two players to carry them through a stacked Western Conference. Perhaps in the Eastern Conference the two could get the Lakers into the NBA Playoffs, but the west is far too difficult, right?
What have the Lakers given up?
As stated previously, the belief is the Lakers have bungled up their future by trading three players plus future draft picks. Sure, draft picks are overrated because we never know just how they will end up. Kobe Bryant was the 13th pick when he was selected in the NBA Draft. Look how that turned out. No one expected him to become an elite player why other lottery pick, sure-things faded away from the NBA spotlight.
Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, three first-round picks, and a few future pick swaps have all been sent to the Big Easy. The Pelicans held out to get an array of trade pieces and truly come out on top in this trade. The Lakers must now replace the three players they have sent to the Pelicans.
Just twice in six seasons was Davis able to help the Pelicans reach a .500 or better record. They only made the postseason twice in that time as well. It isn’t fair to say he should have done more in New Orleans, but perhaps the franchise should have been better with Davis as the centerpiece of it.
New Orleans will be happy to have rid themselves of Davis after last season’s drama. Now, they need to win and show they got the best part of the trade.