The Los Angeles Lakers are fresh off two bad losses on the road and will be hosting the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday for a big matchup against potential Western Conference playoff teams. But while the focus has been on competing and contending this season, the Lakers also have their eyes on offseason prizes.
Friday’s game will be the first of the season against Anthony Davis, the superstar big man in New Orleans who is one of the most intriguing players in the league as his future is routinely in question. Davis, who recently signed onto Klutch (the same agency that represents LeBron James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) has only been to the playoffs twice in his career and time is running down for the Pelicans to prove they can build a title-winning team around him.
On Tuesday, James was asked about the prospects of the Lakers potentially trading for Davis and gave the obvious answer (via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin):
“That would be amazing,” James told ESPN on Tuesday before the Lakers’ game against the Brooklyn Nets. “That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible.”
The Lakers have held onto their young core and future assets for this reason. They know that Davis, a 2020 free agent, could be available, soon and if the big man tries to force his way to the Lakers, LA will have as big of a trove as assets as anyone to exchange for him.
Of course, a lot of what the Lakers will do hinges on this summer and their goal of adding another superstar free agent next to James. But with all the talk about stars not wanting to play alongside the best player in the world, LeBron can show he is willing to share the spotlight with others with these public comments. That matters in free agency and trade talks. It also puts pressure on his Lakers teammates to perform and the front office to continue searching for ways to improve the roster, even if he hasn’t outwardly demanded it, yet.