The Lakers have completed a trade for Anthony Davis and are now considered one of the favorites to win the title next year according to Vegas.
How Did They Finally Get Their Man?
The Lakers quest to get Anthony Davis was not easy and in the end they had to give up a lot to get this deal done. In exchange for Davis, the Lakers gave up Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three draft picks. The Pelicans will now be picking 1st and 4th in the draft although there is already speculation that they could trade the number 4 pick.
The Pelicans have agreed to a deal to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks – including the No. 4 overall in 2019 Draft, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
This deal is just the beginning for the Lakers with word coming out that they have now made Kemba Walker their top priority. The prospect of playing on a team with AD and LeBron will help the Lakers attract the top remaining free agents. We saw how well Kyrie played next to LeBron and Kemba is a very similar type of player. The move would make sense for the Lakers if Kemba does choose to leave Charlotte.
Does Kemba Walker fit perfectly in the Lakers scheme now that Anthony Davis has joined LeBron in Los Angeles? @JustinVerrier and @ChrisRyan77 discuss this and more in an all-new 'Group Chat' pic.twitter.com/qIAryxrUiB
— The Ringer (@ringer) June 16, 2019
The thing is Kemba Walker has never said he wants to leave. In fact the view has always been that he would prefer to stay in Charlotte if it’s up to him. The chance to play for a championship is obviously a game changer and will be interesting to see what Kemba decides to do.
More from Kemba Walker on upcoming free agency.
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) June 13, 2019
The injuries the Warriors suffered in the Finals means that the West is wide open next year and the Lakers seem intent on taking advantage of that fact. Last year they missed out on the playoffs and there is no way LeBron James is going to endure another season where his team is not challenging for a ring. Even if they don’t get Kemba, this free agent class is stacked with talent and the Lakers are now back in the championship conversation with AD and LeBron.
What About the Pelicans?
The Pelicans were never going to get a player as good as Anthony Davis back in a trade with the Lakers so they had to make sure they got as many good assets as possible. They did exactly that and are in position to make additional moves with some of the pieces they acquired. If they play their cards right, the Pelicans actually have a chance to be better than they were with Davis. First of all, they get to start over with another number 1 overall pick. The significance of that can’t be overstated especially in a draft that has such a special talent available. While we aren’t exactly sure what Zion Williamson will be as a professional, what we do know is fans want to see it. To have one of the most popular players in the league after loosing your franchise guy is a rare opportunity. When you add to that the talent they actually acquired, the Pelicans have a solid young core that they can build on.What comes next for them is drafting correctly and or using their picks wisely. Besides the certainty of drafting Zion the possibility of them trading some of those picks does exist.
This is a great day for David Griffin in his new role. He inherited a messy situation and has started the clean up job in impressive fashion. They way this all shapes out, the Pelicans are still far from their final roster. The only players that can feel confident that they will be on the roster on opening night are Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday. That is a solid foundation to begin the rebuilding process. The biggest question left to be answered is what will they do with the 4th overall pick? The NBA draft is less than a week away so we wont have to wait long to find out. This is the biggest move of the off season with Anthony Davis being the most talent free agent outside of Kevin Durant. There are so many moves left to come that the NBA season is actually not over. This free agent period will change the entire landscape of the league.