After much speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally acquired a second star for LeBron James. According to Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN, the Lakers have acquired former New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis in a blockbuster trade.
The Pelicans will receive Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks (including the 2019 number four overall pick) in exchange for their franchise star, marking the end of the Lakers careers of several members of their lofty young core.
The LA Times’ Tania Ganguli has reported that the draft picks will be sent out in the following manner:
The Pelicans receive the Lakers 2019 4th overall pick. The Lakers 2021 first-round pick will go to the Pelicans if it lands in the top eight. Otherwise, it becomes an unprotected 2022 first round to New Orleans. The Pelicans will have the right to swap first-round picks in 2023. Finally, they will receive a first-round pick in 2024 with the right to defer it to 2025 instead.
The move comes after much open discussion in the media about who was and wasn’t being included in trade talks. It seemed that the Lakers were not willing to include forward Kyle Kuzma in the deal and it was hinging on that. Ultimately, the Lakers forward was not included in the deal for Davis, confirming all of those reports.
Davis and James give the Lakers an admirable start to a potential powerhouse with two top-five players. There will have to be some serious cap space maneuvering to be able to add a third superstar alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but if that’s not possible, the Lakers still have one of the best duos in the NBA. With Davis and LeBron, they should be able to build quite the team for the 2019-20 season.