Anthony Davis Is Officially A Laker! What Does This Mean For Laker Nation?
The New Orleans Pelicans have officially given up their franchise cornerstone player in Anthony Davis. Throughout this season, speculations were on the rise for where Anthony Davis will go. Whether it was the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, or even some rumours for the Brooklyn Nets, Anthony Davis has found a home with the Los Angeles Lakers. The trade that was proposed to the New Orleans Pelicans was, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and 3 future first round picks in exchange for Anthony Davis. The Pelicans were negotiating with the Lakers for quite some time now as they were trying to acquire Kyle Kuzma in this trade. However, after multiple failed attempts, the Lakers settled for just Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and 3 future first round picks which begs the question, why was this trade even necessary for the Lakers?
Looking at this trade from the Lakers end, they received arguably and potentially a top power forward in NBA history. As we know, this season was a failed project for the Lakers with Lebron James and the rest of the young core. In fact, the start of this season was looking bright for the Lakers as they were top 5 in the western conference, however, when Lebron James went down with that groin injury, things started to go downhill. Whether it was the young core having troubles winning games to Lebron spilling out what he desires for this Lakers team, the potential that the Lakers had going into this season soon disappeared. The reality was, the Lakers started terrifically this season and were looking to be a top team in this year's playoffs. However, due to injuries and terrible decisions throughout this season, the Lakers ended up being a lottery team with bad chemistry. Yet, now that the Lakers have Anthony Davis by trading away everything they rebuilt for was he worth it?
This trade, to me, should have happened months ago. The fact is, Lebron decided to go to the media about what he wants for the Lakers, which was Anthony Davis caused a lot of havoc in the locker room. Not only was this an unprofessional act by Lebron, but it also caused moral damage as well as lack of confidence to the Lakers young core. This was a classless act by the King as it ruined the chemistry of this Lakers squad. As a result, this trade was mandatory for the Lakers to do considering these factors. Fortunately for Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers expressed to the Pelicans organization that they refused to give him away in this deal, which was one of the brighter spots in this trade.
Overall, the Lakers made a risky trade by trading away all their young talent. For years now, the Lakers were always rebuilding and getting young assets to build a potential dynasty. However, as the years went by, the Lakers made horrible trades to ship off their young talent whether it was Brook Lopez for D'Angelo Russell or Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. for an injured Isaiah Thomas. The NBA world knows how these trades ended up haunting the Lakers considering that, D'Angelo Russell is an All-Star point guard who led his team to the playoffs and, that Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. are now key rotational pieces for the Cavaliers to work with. At least in this trade, the Lakers managed to trade most of their young core in exchange for a superstar to pair up with Lebron James. However, the question is, why did Anthony Davis want to leave in the first place?
The Pelicans gave up their best player in franchise history. The 7 seasons that Anthony Davis played in New Orleans was indeed a remarkable time that Pelicans fans will never forget. The NBA felt Anthony Davis's presence the moment he stepped foot onto a basketball court. To see Anthony Davis leave the Pelicans is obscure; however, necessary for his career. Throughout NBA history, players such as Vince Carter, Tracy Mcgrady, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, and many more would end up wasting their primes on dysfunctional franchises which is why Anthony Davis probably wanted to leave New Orleans. In the last 7 years, the Pelicans failed to build around Anthony Davis considering that the best player they managed to bring was, Demarcus Cousins who ended up leaving the following year. With that being said, the Anthony Davis chapter has now come to a close which begs the question, what is next for this franchise?
The New Orleans Pelicans are in a better situation now that Anthony Davis is gone. Although the Pelicans lost their cornerstone superstar, they have a chance to attain a new one in Zion Williamson. The Pelicans also managed to bring multiple young players from the Lakers in making this trade. New Orleans is in a good position moving forward as they have various assets to work with. Although the Pelicans will not even touch the playoffs for many years to come, the future of this team looks promising as most of their starting 5 were top 3 picks in previous NBA drafts. Despite losing Anthony Davis, the Pelicans managed to have a solid foundation to work with moving forward. With New Orleans hiring David Griffin who is mostly known for building a dynasty in Cleveland with Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love, the rebuild for the Pelicans organization, is in good hands.
Overall, this trade was good for both teams. The Lakers acquired arguably the best big man in the NBA while the Pelicans manage to obtain multiple young players to build around their potential future star in Zion Williamson. The future for both teams looks promising as the Lakers are now contenders whereas the Pelicans can now start developing players rather than having the stress of building around Anthony Davis. However, the team that I believe won this trade was, the Pelicans. Not only do they have assets to build around, but they also have a young base to work with. The Lakers, however, do not have any young assets other than Kyle Kuzma but, they have a chance to win a championship or 2 in the years to come. Long-term wise, the Pelicans won this trade; however, in the short-term, the Lakers won this trade as they have an opportunity to win an NBA championship.