06/15 20:19 CDT Analysis: Anthony Davis trade a win-win for both sides
Analysis: Anthony Davis trade a win-win for both sides
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
The saga is over.
When this trade is done, everybody can say they won.
The Lakers, the Pelicans, Rich Paul, LeBron James, they all can take a victory
lap. The trade that will be official in the coming weeks sending Anthony Davis
from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers for Brandon Ingram,
Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks --- first reported by
ESPN, later confirmed to The Associated Press by several people with knowledge
of the matter --- is perfect for both sides.
James gets the superstar teammate he wanted. Paul, the agent James and Davis
share, pulls off a power move. The Lakers instantly become major players in a
suddenly open Western Conference. Davis finally gets his wish to leave New
Orleans. The Pelicans don't begin Zion Williamson's era with a disgruntled
superstar in the locker room. They load up on young players and have tons of
draft chips to play around with.
For the Pelicans, it's a new beginning.
For the Lakers, it's about winning now.
Draft picks, including No. 4 in this year's class, smartly were not overvalued
by the Lakers --- a team with a superstar who is turning 35 in December and
should be doing anything necessary to help him win a fourth championship before
his window closes. The Lakers have tons of money to spend starting June 30 and
the sales pitch to Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving or anyone else changes mightily
after this move.
Before Saturday it would have been Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka saying,
"We're trying to get Anthony Davis."
Now it'll be Pelinka saying, "We've got Davis, we've got LeBron and they want
you with them."
That'll be a tough offer for anyone to ignore.
James is going to get another Big Three out of this: It was Dwyane Wade, Chris
Bosh and him in Miami; Kevin Love, Irving and him in Cleveland; Davis, him and
TBA with the Lakers. Clearly, the focus will be on a guard, which is why the
rumor mill will be all about either Walker or Irving going to Los Angeles in
The offseason is already in high gear.
Hard to believe it really just got started.
This deal got agreed to before the newly crowned NBA champion Toronto Raptors
--- this is true --- hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy on Canadian soil for the
first time. They won Thursday night at Oracle Arena to end Golden State's
reign, partied in Las Vegas on Friday and were flying home to Toronto on
Not even 48 hours after they popped corks, the Lakers started their own
Williamson will get drafted No. 1 overall on Thursday night, and he'll go to
New Orleans in the awkward spot of being an 18-year-old (he doesn't turn 19
until July 6) with a franchise on his shoulders. The Lakers will still be
drafting No. 4 overall, though they'll be doing so on New Orleans' behalf. The
Pelicans need a center, and will likely look at the trade market.
The Pelicans have to watch an incredible player, one of the league's very best,
leave. But David Griffin --- the man tasked with rebuilding the Pelicans ---
clearly had concluded that there was no way of convincing Davis to not leave as
a free agent next summer anyway. Had Griffin waited to make a deal in-season,
there's almost no way he could have pulled off this kind of haul in return. The
longer he waited, the less the value. So they push the reset button and move
on, which was the most prudent play.
Let the ripple effects begin.
The Warriors not only have to figure out what to do if Kevin Durant leaves, but
how to contend next year without the Achilles-rehabbing Durant and the
ACL-rehabbing Klay Thompson (for at least much of the season). Other contenders
in the West --- Houston, Denver, Portland --- will be viewing the Warriors'
woes as opportunity, so they'll be looking at ways to get better as well. And
Boston will be dealing with the reality that not only are its hopes of landing
Davis gone, but that Irving is likely leaving as well.
There will be countless big moves in the coming weeks. The Lakers, who have
missed the playoffs in the last six seasons and have been stuck in dysfunction
mode for the last couple months following the resignation of Magic Johnson and
soap opera that followed, got the first one of the offseason to go their way.
Welcome to summer. Game on.
Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to
him at email@example.com
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports