Days after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
While the Davis trade was not official until July 7, it was the first and biggest move of the offseason that would change the landscape of the NBA for the first time in five seasons.
After the Warriors had five All-Star players for the 2018-19 NBA season, there is finally parity with Davis and LeBron James on the Lakers, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the Los Angeles Clippers, and other talented duos now.
And heading into the 2019-20 season, Davis puts his Lakers against ‘anybody’ in a seven-game playoff series now.
“It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be fun for sure. I’m excited about it. I think the league has grown and I think that it’s better. All the players teaming up and spreading that talent throughout the league, it’s going to be a fun season,” Davis explained at his Lakers introductory press conference.
“I like our roster. I like every player that we have from 1-14. I’m excited about it. I’ll put our roster against anybody. I feel like that in a seven-game series, we’ll come out victorious.”
As Davis and James form arguably the most talented duo in the league right now, general manager Rob Pelinka did extremely well building out the roster around them.
While there were concerns about the free agency market during Kawhi Leonard’s week-long decision to eventually sign with the Clippers, the reality is the Lakers had to wait on a top-three player and it may have worked out for them.
Similar to 2016 free agency, most teams had cap space and immediately signed players to some questionable deals. Although the Lakers did miss out on some targets, they signed most players to near or below market value.
With two of the top-five players and depth, there is optimism they can not only end their six-year playoff drought but win it all in the 2020 Finals. While there is plenty of competition, one factor will be how quickly they build chemistry.
With eight new players, all of the pressure is on head coach Frank Vogel to eventually find the right lineups now.