After the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery and some front office changes, the Los Angeles Lakers were finally able to trade for Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
While Davis is expected to be the next face of the league once LeBron James retires, it certainly came at a significant price. Except for Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers traded their entire young core and multiple draft picks for the 26-year-old.
Although it was difficult trading Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, Davis fulfills the team’s short- and long-term goals to become a sustainable championship contender.
Once the Davis trade with the Pelicans became official on July 6, general manager Rob Pelinka had the ultimate praise for him and called it a ‘historic moment,’ via Lakers:
“Anthony Davis is arguably the most dominant all-around young player in today’s NBA,” said Pelinka. “Anthony represents everything we stand for, with his unwavering commitment to excellence as both a person and athlete. This is a historic moment for the Lakers franchise, and we couldn’t be more proud to have him.”
As for executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, he is appreciative of Davis, via Pelicans:
“Anthony’s impact upon the Pelicans’ franchise and our region over the past seven seasons has been profound,” said Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin. “We are mindful and appreciative of his contributions. We are similarly appreciative of the opportunity we have as we move into the next phase of Pelicans basketball. The tremendous additions to our family that we announce here today represent the selflessness, competitive desire, and off-court character we intend build around.”
When James signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers last year, it completely changed the team’s timeline. While their former young core has a lot of potential, the Lakers are looking to maximize James’ window now.
As Davis has established himself as one of the best players in the league and is just starting to enter the prime years of his career, the Lakers will provide him an opportunity to learn from James while competing for championships.