After months of speculation and rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans finally reportedly reached a deal to send Anthony Davis to Los Angeles.
It did not come at a cheap price as the Lakers will be sending Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round picks to the Pelicans.
They did get to keep Kyle Kuzma, Moritz Wagner, and Isaac Bonga and while it will be tough to see some talented young players go, that’s what it takes to acquire a player of Davis’ caliber.
Ever since Davis hired Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul prior to 2018-19 NBA season, it became apparent that he wanted to play for the Lakers and he and Paul would do whatever it took to make that happen — even if that meant waiting until he became a free agent in 2020.
While Davis will now soon become a member of the Lakers and will be eligible to sign an extension with them as early as this summer, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Davis still plans to play out the final year of his contract and hit free agency in 2020:
Anthony Davis, who could sign extension with the Lakers this offseason, will play out the 2019-20 season and enter free agency next year, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 15, 2019
Before the fanbase starts to worry, this does not mean that Davis has any plans of leaving the Lakers if things don’t go right during the 2019-20 season. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that he still plans to re-sign with Los Angeles next summer:
Davis, who had requested a trade to L.A. in January, joins James in Los Angeles to create one of the most powerful duos in the NBA. Davis has long planned to sign a new contract with the Lakers once he becomes eligible for free agency in 2020.
This gives the Lakers the ability to maintain their max-contract slot to chase another free agent this summer. Reports indicate that they will target Kemba Walker, but he recently said he would take less money to stay with the Charlotte Hornets.
Other All-Star players the Lakers could potentially target this summer include Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Jimmy Butler. With LeBron James and Davis potentially leading the recruiting, the Lakers have to feel pretty good about their odds of landing a third All-Star player.