The Los Angeles Lakers had high hopes coming into this season, but with their recent slump it has become clear the team won’t be making the playoffs. There are many reasons for their fall this season and one that many have pointed to is the trade rumors involving dealing the young core for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
Reports were that front office was willing to part with their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, along with others, to acquire Davis.
Even though a deal never went through before the trade deadline, the Lakers remain one a favorite to possibly land Davis this offseason, though their failure to make the playoffs could change things.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the Pelicans were expecting to be able to further evaluate the Lakers’ young talent in the playoffs:
Additionally, the person continued, seeing how potential young trade targets performed in the playoffs would’ve given the Pelicans more information before they decided on a deal. Of course, New Orleans won’t get a postseason look at the Lakers’ prospects, but the assumption at the time was that Los Angeles would be a playoff team.
Without a doubt, a playoff appearance would have been big for the young core in terms of development as well as outside opinion. One of the reasons the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum is so highly valued is because of his performance in the 2018 playoffs and the same could’ve been the case for someone like Ingram or Kuzma.
As it stands, even without that, the Lakers will be adding a lottery pick which is another valuable asset in such a potential trade. It could even allow the Lakers to create a trade package that could allow them to keep one or two of their young core.
Whether the front office is able to ultimately land Davis remains to be seen, but everyone will be following this story until a deal is made.