The Anthony Davis Saga Finally Comes to an End
Updated: Oct 12, 2019
After a long wait and a lot of drama, Anthony Davis was finally traded to the Lakers on June 15th. After Davis requested a trade just weeks before the trade deadline, everyone thought he was going to wear the purple and gold with the Los Angels Lakers. Unfortunately for Davis and the Lakers, that was not the case. Once all the trade packages that the Lakers were offering got leaked, it took a big hit on the team. Young studs on the Lakers such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma were the core talks of the trade, and once it didn’t go through, it made them feel that they were unwanted and had them questioning their future with the team. This doubt in the players and drama surrounding the team, along with Lebron James’ injury, eventually led to the Lakers not making the playoffs, which, to say the least, was very disappointing.
On the other hand, Davis not getting traded put the Pelicans in a tough spot. They were told by the league that they would have to play Davis at least 20 minutes a game, or else they would get fined half a million dollars for every game he did not meet that timestamp. The Pelicans planned on resting Davis for the remainder of the season to not risk injury, but they complied with the league's threat and played Davis after his trade request. Eventually, the Pelicans fired their Vice President of Basketball Operations, Dell Demps, due to his stubbornness to trade Davis. With that, the Lakers were working with a clean slate of negotiations with the new Vice President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin.
Once the playoffs ended, the Lakers and Pelicans reached a deal to send Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks, one being the fourth overall pick in this year's draft. This trade really satisfied both teams needs. The Pelicans got young players who will be able to grow with Zion Williamson, who they will almost definitely take with the number one overall pick in this year's draft. The Pelicans also got draft picks to set them up for the future and even potentially be used as trade assets.
The Lakers got a true superstar to pair with Lebron along with someone who could be their franchise player when Lebron's contract is over. LA got rid of the assets that didn’t really fit the play style of Lebron, such as Ingram and Lonzo, who are both not great catch and shoot players. They got to keep Kyle Kuzma, who was included in trade talks during the season but was left out of the talks after the year. General Manager of the Lakers, Rob Pelinka refused to add Kuzma in any trade packages because of his ability to play off Lebron and be an all-around scorer. This trade fits both teams timeline. The Lakers are now an older team and are officially in win-now mode, which is good considering Lebron isn't getting any younger. The Pelicans are in a development mode with all their future talent being around the same age. This trade allows their young players to grow together and eventually reach their prime all around the same time.