So the inevitable finally occurred. Anthony Davis is now a Los Angeles Laker, and the drama that ensued has finally washed away with the tide. We all knew this was coming at some point. Ever since Davis fired his old agent last summer and signed with Klutch sports, everyone in the NBA Circle knew that at some point he would be in a Laker uniform. Talks heated up Midway through the season when he asked for a trade. And this stirred a lot of controversy between both teams ( the Lakers in the Pelicans). This caused a lot of friendships to be lost, people to get fired, and so many dark secrets to come to light Within both organizations. Now we are facing the NBA draft, and the landscape of the entire league has changed dramatically with one trade.
A synopsis of this trade is as follows:
The Los Angeles Lakers get Anthony Davis
The New Orleans Pelicans get Brandon Ingram, Lonzo ball, Josh Hart, the 4th overall pick in 2019 NBA draft, and two other first-round picks in two more years.
This major overhaul seems to make a dramatic shift in the NBA. And some may say that the Lakers gave up way too much for Anthony Davis. Personally I myself believe that they could have waited to get Davis next year since he wanted to come to La so badly. However, there is the fact that LeBron James is an aging Superstar, and the Lakers need to win now. So trading for Davis, a perennial Superstar and once in a generation Talent was Paramount for the Lakers. Plus the Lakers only know success, and for the past six years, they’ve known failure as they failed to make the playoffs each year.
This pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis can prove to put the Lakers over the hump and win them in NBA championship next season. This is because the Golden State Warriors don’t look like they’ll be able to compete for 1 until 2021 with two of their superstars out in Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. That’s if Kevin Durant stays with Golden State. However, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and Draymond Green are still enough to make them competitive in the west. The western conference is wide open, and a huge leap needed to be taken by someone. The Lakers are the team to take those leaps. Now Davis is part of a long lineage of big men that have come to the Lakers. Will he prove to be Shaq and Kareem like and win championships? Or will he fail like Dwight Howard?
Only time will tell.
Right now we have to figure out what the rest of the Lakers roster will look like next season. They have 32 million dollars in cap space, enough to capture one other big-time free agent.
They can sign a marquee free agent or break their cap space into smaller amounts to sign other role players that will fit in with the rest of the team. This summer is crucial for the Lakers, as they have to put together a solid team around LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and their young budding star in Kyle Kuzma.
The Lakers have many options, and many players would want to play with these two superstars at this moment in time now. The likes of Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker. These are some names I believe the Lakers should Chase in free agency. It will cost them all 32 million dollars because these players demand max dollars. However, this is a great price to pay for Glory and championships. The three names I mentioned are players in their primes and will be able to take over the reins when LeBron James finally retires.
If LeBron James retires.
Now, in my opinion, I believe the Lakers should just sign Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving, personal preference would be Kyrie Irving as he’s one of my favorite players. However, Kemba would fit better with the Los Angeles Lakers as he has better assist numbers than Kyrie Irving. That is important for a team that has two players that need the ball passed to them. Even though LeBron James could easily play point guard and allow Kyrie or Kemba to become scorers and shooters. However, if that’s the case, the Lakers might as well just go and get some Shooters and some scorers on an intermediate level. The likes of JJ Redick, Jamal Crawford, Nikola Mirotic, Danny Green. These players come for easier prices and you can get more out of them than just one Superstar. Even though you need stars in this league to win as the Warriors have shown, and Heat of the early 2010s have shown. But also Kawhi Leonard just showed us That a great team and one Superstar can win a championship.
So the Lakers have options, and mistakes cannot be made this summer. What will they do? Only time will tell.
Here are some of my suggestions for what they should do.
Option 1: Lakers sign Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving to a max deal and fill out the rest of the roster spots with veterans that can shoot and rebound, as well as make plays.
Say the Lakers sign Rajon Rondo to a veteran’s minimum (if he chooses to take it) and he plays backup point guard. Although I don’t think his pride will allow him to do so. However, Rondo is a Savvy veteran who would do well in a second unit with a bunch of shooters. Plus I believe he likes playing with LeBron James. Kemba or Kyrie could be that third scorer for the Lakers, and that superstar that helps them get over the hump. They can score a lot of points very fast. And on top of that, they can shoot from Beyond the three-point Arc very efficiently. Add that with some veterans that would love to play with LeBron for a pay cut and you have a championship-caliber team. Such names could be Jamal Crawford, Seth Curry, Jeff Green, and JaVale McGee. Filling out the roster with these minimum veterans would do wonders for the team. However the question would be defense, could these players keep up on the defensive end. Veterans tend to not play as much defense as they get older, this is evident with LeBron James who is conservative on the defensive end throughout the regular season. At if there’s one thing we know, it’s that defense wins championships.
Option 2: the Lakers break up their cap space and sign mid-level free agents.
Players such as a Chris Middleton, Goran Dragic, Jonas Valanciunas, are players that they can break up their salary for, plus sign of Danny Green and A JJ Redick for around five to six million apiece. This could all add up to the 32 million, plus they can go into their mid-level exception which is around five to six million and sign another veteran or two. This gives them a point guard that can shoot and facilitate, a couple of Shooters plus a backup big man for Anthony Davis. This was out the roster well, then you can just get some minimum veteran salaries or some young players that just can be added to the team. This gives the Lakers depth, more options, and sorry players that are not too old but young enough to revitalize their careers with a championship run with the Lakers and LeBron James. We know LeBron James can transform players careers. And these players look like they can use some revitalization. Then there’s Robin Lopez, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with the Lakers I believe can resign if because they own his bird rights and pick up some more free agents. Right then and there that’s a deep roster. Patrick Beverly could replace Dragic if his price is too high. If the Clippers don’t resign Beverly back. And Terrance Ross is an athletic 3-and-D guy the Lakers can utilize alongside Calwell-Pope.
However the Lakers like stars, it’s la la Land, Hollywood. Hollywood Love stars. So how can we come to a compromise? Well here’s option three.
Option 3: the Lakers sign Kemba Walker to a pay cut, giving them space to sign another mid-level or lower level free agent(s).
Forget Kyrie signing a max with the Lakers, he’s already played with Lebron.
Kemba Walker taking a pay cut for around 20 to 25 million dollars will give the Lakers some space to sign other veterans. Walker has already been quoted to be willing to take a pay cut in order to re-sign with the Charlotte Hornets so that they may add other veterans and players to allow the Hornets to win. What if the Lakers could convince Kemba to take a pay cut for Los Angeles? That way the Lakers can sign other players to add depth to their roster. This gives them the star that they need, plus a roster that could devastate the NBA for a couple years or even just this season. This comes with Savvy now, Rob Pelinka has to pull this one out. And judging from Reports of his snake-like for lack of a better term Maneuvers within the NBA circles. This will be the toughest task he’ll ever have to take on as general manager for the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, I do believe that this is Los Angeles, and that right there attract so much. The name, the purple and gold, the glory. what player wouldn’t want to play in LA? Especially with LeBron James and Anthony Davis? LA just got much better. And this NBA off-season is about to be really exciting.