LeBron and AD will do wonders for Los Angeles simply because they will create a winning formula for the Lakers
By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from Inquirer Sports | Art by Tricia Guevara
Back In January, Anthony Davis was asked what he wanted out of his career. His answer was pretty simple: “To win…. my main goal is just to win.”
Davis has been donning the New Orleans Pelicans jersey for over seven seasons now and throughout that period, he’s only been in the playoffs twice and has only achieved one series win. This season, New Orleans dropped to the bottom of the Western Conference standings and saw themselves losing game after game. And since they lost six out of their eight games and dropped to 22-28 in the middle of the season, Davis decided that it was time to go.
So of course, the Los Angeles Lakers swoop right in and showed interest in Davis. The Lakers after all are known as the team that will always go for an all-star free agent or make their presence felt in every major trade discussion. The Lakers made an offer with the risk of knowing that it was going to harm the team’s chemistry—only to be rejected by Pelicans owner Gayle Benson. For Benson, acquiring almost the whole Lakers’ young core, specifically Lonzo Ball, Brandom Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and a bunch of draft picks and a salary-cap relief was not enough for New Orleans to give up their 26-year-old all-star.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) June 12, 2019
The Pelicans thought that they would be able to persuade Davis to stay. Their biggest bid was claiming the golden ticket to this year’s draft which would likely be used on Duke University’s Zion Williamson. However, as appealing as it is to play along a 6’7 fresh grad who is uniquely built for the game and is known to be a difference-maker on both ends of the court, Davis knows that his goal “to win” won’t happen as long as he’s wearing a Pelicans jersey. He wants out and wants to be playing for Los Angeles by fall.
“Anthony Davis has instructed his agent Rich Paul to get him to the Los Angeles Lakers. He [Rich Paul] is doing exactly what he has to do to try to force that to happen.”
— ShowtimeForum (@ShowtimeForum) June 12, 2019
Make it or Break it for LA
The Lakers hit rock bottom this year. Not only did they miss out on the chance to acquire Davis, they also lost LeBron James to injury and got ditched by Magic Johnson, who stepped down as the team’s President. The NBA off season has yet to start but the Lakers have already replaced their head coach and are once again in a position to acquire the New Orleans forward.
According to ESPN Senior Writer Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are offering Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and their fourth pick in this year’s draft for Davis. Aside from including Kyle Kuzma to the package, the only thing that’s really stopping the Anthony Davis-to-LA campaign are the Pelicans, who want to make the most out of giving one of the best players in the league away.
Pels should hang tough and demand Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma and the 4th pick. If LeBron wants AD that badly, as he did at the deadline, make the Lakers PAY. Hey, LeBron already alienated Zo, BI and Kuz, anyway, by wanting to trade them.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 13, 2019
The Lakers have to do everything in their power to get the Pelicans to accept their trade offer even if this means letting go of Kuzma. Also, think about it: LeBron James is not getting younger and there’s no way he’s going to win a championship as long as he’s surrounded by the Lakers’ talented young core. If the Lakers get to land Davis, the team will have a stronger chance of recruiting Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, or Klay Thompson during the off season.
According to Bleacher Report Betting, with the Anthony Davis rumors swirling, the Lakers have the second best odds (5-1) to win the 2020 title. Even if might be too soon for this piece of information to really mean anything, the Lakers must also consider that acquiring Davis would ensure that the franchise will have a superstar after LeBron retires or even if he decides to leave—because we can never really tell with LeBron these days, although he has made it clear that he intends to play for the purple and gold in the long run.
The LeBron and AD pair will do wonders for Los Angeles simply because it will create a winning formula for the team. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they can contend for a championship right away, but it’s a step in the right direction–one that LA so desperately needs.
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