At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers attempted to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans following his trade request on Jan. 28.
Despite former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s ‘godfather’ offer, the Pelicans did not want to trade Davis to his preferred destination and wanted to wait for offers from the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.
However, after the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, the Lakers landed the No. 4 pick as the Celtics and Knicks did not fare as well. And once Davis did not change his stance on the trade request, the Pelicans started listening to offers.
Nearly five months later, the Lakers have traded Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, and three first round draft picks (including the No. 4 pick) to the Pelicans for Davis, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
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
Although it took time, the Lakers have successfully landed a second All-Star player via trade alongside LeBron James.
After rebuilding through the NBA Draft for five seasons, the only player remaining from the young core is Kyle Kuzma. During trade negotiations, there were conflicting reports about Kuzma, but they were ultimately able to keep him.
While it is extremely difficult to trade Ball, Ingram, and Hart, Davis fulfills the team’s short- and long-term goals. At just 26-years-old, the six-time All-Star player can help the Lakers win now and for at least the next 6-7 seasons.
With James and Davis, the landscape of the NBA could potentially change for the first time in five seasons. As there is uncertainty surrounding the Golden State Warriors due to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson’s injuries/free agency, the Lakers could realistically represent the Western Conference.
As the Lakers shift their attention to free agency, there is a scenario where they could still sign a third All-Star player. In addition, more players may be willing to take pay cuts in order to join three All-Star players in Los Angeles.