However, there were still some narratives prior to the 2019-20 NBA season such as: ‘Lakers gave up too much for Davis’ and ‘Pelicans won the trade.’
Through all of the drama that occurred in James’ first season in Los Angeles, there is likely a lot of satisfaction. The 35-year-old is still playing at an MVP-level with Davis while having the best record in the Western Conference.
At the end of the day, the Davis trade made sense. As Davis and the Lakers can compete for championships in the prime years of his career, the Pelicans are primed for a quick rebuilding process with Zion Williamson and Ingram.
Following two wins against the Pelicans where Davis averaged 43.5 points and 11.0 rebounds, the Lakers will re-focus on their ultimate goal of winning the 2020 NBA Finals. After a challenging December, they are in the midst of a soft five-game homestand where they can build on their 3.5-game lead.
Although the Lakers are currently 28-7, there are some growing concerns about the team’s bench. Despite having 20+ point leads against the Phoenix Suns and Pelicans, the bench could not maintain them in the fourth quarters, which forced James and Davis to play more minutes instead of resting.
With the Feb. trade and March buyout deadline approaching, general manager Rob Pelinka and the Lakers reportedly are looking for a backup point guard with Darren Collison emerging as a potential option after shockingly retiring.