The Los Angeles Lakers offseason has been a productive one so far despite it getting off to a rocky start when president of basketball operations Magic Johnson resigned.
General manager Rob Pelinka is calling the shots now and his first big move was completing the Anthony Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Davis and Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul have made it clear since the middle of the 2018-19 NBA season that he wants to play in Los Angeles alongside LeBron James. As a result, Pelinka was able to make that happen, but the trade is not expected to go through until July 6.
In addition to acquiring Davis, the Lakers also have max cap space going into free agency on June 30. Pelinka was able to trade Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards to clear up extra space. Davis also waived his $4 million trade kicker that he was entitled to for being dealt.
Perhaps as a reward for waiving that trade kicker, Davis has been gifted the No. 23 jersey for the Lakers from James, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Lakers superstar LeBron James is gifting Anthony Davis his No. 23, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The league has been notified of the pending jersey change, sources said.
James doing that for his teammate is a little bit surprising considering he wore the No. 23 his entire career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and then his first season with the Lakers.
He has not revealed which number he will be switching to, but he wore No. 6 while he was with the Miami Heat and also on his practice jersey with the Lakers and Cavaliers, so that is likely what he will go with.
With James, Davis, and Kuzma now being the only players on the roster, Pelinka will have his work cut out for him in free agency to surround them with the talent to win the 2020 NBA Finals. It should not be all that difficult to convince a third All-Star player to join them though considering they would get to play in Los Angeles and seemingly compete for championships year in and year out.
Whatever happens in the next week, it should be interesting to see how it all plays out.