Now that Anthony Davis has finally been traded, it’s a little sad to think about all the crazy rumors that will no longer be tossed around. From the All-Star big man maybe going to the Knicks, to the Pelicans allegedly refusing to do business with the team Davis ultimately ended up with, the Los Angeles Lakers, it was pretty entertaining hearing all the reports everyday about the guy’s future.
With the blockbuster deal getting done over the weekend to kickstart the wild NBA offseason, there are some people who wonder if the Lakers needed to make the play to go all-in and get Anthony Davis. After all, with LeBron James turning 35 years old next season, there’s an obvious “win now” mentality before the window shuts on competing for championships, especially with the uncertain future of the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty. Plus, Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, made it obvious that he would basically only play for the Lakers, whether it was via trade this summer or when he became a free agent next year.
But why did the Lakers need to trade for Anthony Davis now? According to one high-profile agent and a rival executive, per Bleacher Report, it might be their only chance at landing the necessary star alongside James this summer, even with cap room to sign a couple potential All-Stars.
If the Lakers wanted a top-shelf star to lift some of the burden from James’ shoulders next season, they had better pull off a trade for Anthony Davis.
“It might be their only chance to get a star this summer,” a high-profile agent told Bleacher Report.
And so the news Saturday that L.A. had finally landed AD in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, was more than a coup. It was a necessity. Even before the catastrophic injuries suffered by Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson during the NBA Finals, the Lakers’ hopes for a big free-agent score were dwindling, multiple league sources told B/R.
So if you’re wondering why the Lakers surrendered Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks—including the No. 4 pick in next week’s draft—that’s why. Their chances of landing a comparable player in free agency were grim.
“They were very scared,” the Eastern Conference executive said.
This follows previous reports that suggested top-level free agents this summer may not want to play in Los Angeles. Whether that’s because of James’ power or influence, the dysfunction that’s been going on with the iconic franchise in the past year or some other reason, the team knew it couldn’t stay status quo and convince other stars things would only get better. With Anthony Davis onboard now, its already added intrigue — with reports suggesting Kyrie Irving may now be more interested in heading to the Lakers.
The NBA should be wide open now that both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson could miss all of next season, and, rather than sit back and try to pitch free agents on why the Lakers could compete for a title with James, the team was aggressive and decided to give up a ton in order to, possibly, better their situation in free agency. They’ve definitely got something better to sell in free agency now, so it’ll be interesting to see if other All-Stars buy into the idea with Davis and James finally together now.