Nearly five months after the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers eventually traded for Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans before the 2019 NBA Draft.
When the Pelicans hired executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, there was hope the two teams could potentially re-engage on Davis trade talks.
As Griffin tried to persuade Davis to stay, the 26-year-old did not change his stance on the trade request and the Pelicans began listening to trade offers. By waiting, the Lakers and Pelicans benefited greatly at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.
Although LeBron James has stayed relatively quiet since the 2018-19 NBA season ended and amid all of the drama, he welcomed Davis to Los Angeles, via Instagram:
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While the Lakers finally landed their two All-Star players, it required most of the young core and draft picks:
The Pelicans have agreed to a deal to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks – including the No. 4 overall in 2019 Draft, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
Following a disappointing Year 1 with James, the Lakers decided to go all in on building a championship contender around him. And at just 26-years-old, Davis fulfills the team’s goal of winning now and for the next 6-7 seasons.
As there is uncertainty surrounding the Golden State Warriors, the Western Conference race is wide open and the Lakers have a legitimate chance with James and Davis.
Along with having two All-Star players now, the Lakers still have a max-contract slot available. While they have already been linked to Kemba Walker as the potential third All-Star player, they could split it into multiple role players.
Although it was a drama-filled start to the offseason, the future is bright. By trading for the next face of the NBA after James, players may be willing to take less to play with Davis in Los Angeles and compete for championships.