By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Lakers have decided to make the first stunning move of a sure to be crazy 2019 NBA offseason, acquiring superstar center Anthony Davis from the Pelicans in exchange for six assets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Per Woj, that package to New Orleans is headlined by Laker rosters players Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, and features three first-round draft selection, including the No. 4 overall pick in next Thursday’s NBA Draft.
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
The obvious point here: The Lakers beat the Celtics — and Knicks, Nets, Bucks, and probably even a few more teams we had yet to hear about — to the punch to acquire Davis, and paid the premium to do exactly that.
The Lakers drafted Ingram with the No. 2 overall just three years ago, and Ingram is coming off a career-year in which he shot a career-high 49.7 percent from the field and averaged 18.3 points per game. Ball, for all his warts both on and off the court, is still just two years removed from (also) being taken with the No. 2 overall pick.
There’s also the uncertainty of moving three first-round picks for a player who is still determined to test the free agency waters next summer, which could come back to bite a Lakers squad that won just 37 games last season should Davis leave.
But for the Lakers, who already have LeBron James and are in position to add another piece, acquiring Davis just might make them the early Western Conference favorites given the uncertainty surrounding the Golden State Warriors this summer.
On the other side, the package seems like an obvious home run for new Pelicans front office head David Griffin, who was going to lose Davis for nothing as a free agent in 2020 if he did not make a trade, which Davis demanded in-season, and did not back off from following a face-to-face meeting with Griffin earlier this month. It also gives the Pelicans a solid future outlook with the club already poised to add Zion Williamson with the next week No. 1 overall pick next week.