Why the Lakers Should Hold-out on AD Trade
Anthony Davis had been the talk of the NBA for the last 24 hours. Even if you do not watch basketball, you probably know that Davis requested a trade yesterday. At this very moment, about ten to fifteen teams are preparing trade proposals for the three-time All-NBA player. Though this is the case, most of the basketball world is imagining that only one team really has enough attractive assets to entice the Pelicans into accepting a trade. That team is the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Nick Wright on First Things First, the best offer that the Lakers can give to the pelicans consists of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson, Ivica Zubac, and 2 future unprotected picks. I, too, believe this is probably the best offer that the Lakers can give to the Pelicans. I have one issue with this proposal: IT IS RUINING THE LAKERS FUTURE!!! Before you jump all over me and say “Davis is a once in a lifetime talent”, let me explain why I feel the way I feel.
If this is the offer the Lakers send to the Pelicans for Davis, the Lakers’ starting five will probably look something like Lebron, Rondo, Davis, Javale, and Hart. This starting lineup could do some damage if they can learn to compliment each other’s playing style before the playoffs begin. As for the depth behind these players…. Let’s just put it this way: They don’t scare anyone. Walton and his staff will probably put together a rotation consisting of the starting five, the old and slow Tyson Chandler, Michael Beasley, and Kentavious Caldwell- Pope. That would put the average age of the eight-man rotation on the wrong side of thirty. There’s no issue with that since they are trying to compete right now. With this lineup, you do not really have to wait for anyone to progress and come into their own. With this lineup, the only real issue is managing minutes and ensuring that none of the older players are overwhelmed with the amount of time they are on the floor. However, this lineup will not win you a championship. This lineup will not be able to keep up Harden and the Rockets, let alone the Golden State Warriors. This lineup would just to hold you over until the next offseason. If the Lakers decide to trade all of these pieces for Davis and are able to sign Kyrie, Klay, KD, or Kawhi, then they are set. My point is this: what if they can’t? What if they are stuck with Lebron, AD, and a bunch of role players? What if after Lebron’s contract is up, he chooses to retire and you have AD a second tier player, and a bunch of role players? By trading the pieces you planned to build around, you open yourself to that reality. You leave yourself vulnerable to being stuck in an unmanageable situation with no building blocks and no first round picks.
If the Lakers do trade away their future, their best bet is to make one HUGE move in the offseason. According to Nick Wright on First Things First, if the Lakers use his proposed trade, they will have about $31 million in cap space. That is just enough to sign one key player to a near max contract in the offseason. The good news is that if the Lakers are able to obtain Davis, I am sure that they will have a bunch of players looking to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, Klay Thompson has already voiced that he would be willing to join the Lakers if they can take Davis from the Pelicans. Also, it’s not much of a coincidence that now there is speculation that Kyrie Irving will not resign with the Celtics this offseason AND is willing to team up with Lebron again. The trend has slowly begun, the Lakers just have to close the deal. If they can close the deal and sign someone like Klay, Kyrie, Kawhi, KD, or Kemba, then all of my issues with this trade get thrown out of the window. Because if they can sign one of them, especially Kyrie or Kemba, they are set for the next eight to ten years at least.
What do I think the Lakers should do? Well, in my opinion, the Lakers should ride out the rest of the season. They should not make a strong push for Davis until the end of the season. It is believed that the Pelicans are going to hold out on a trade until at least this offseason so that the Celtics can make an offer as well. I know it makes the competition for Davis harder, but it will give the Lakers a chance to see what their current team is really made of. It could also raise the trade value of players like Ingram and Zubac, allowing the Lakers to possibly get away with holding onto one more piece as opposed to giving up everything. To add, even if the Celtics join chase for Davis, the Pelicans would probably want Tatum. The Celtics are very unlikely to offer him unless Davis makes it known that he is open to signing an extension. Thus, pushing things more in the Lakers favor. It also makes sense for the Lakers to just wait it out because it gives them the opportunity to sign Kyrie and trade for Davis in one summer, and get them some playing time early on in the season before the games really begin to count. I ultimately think the success of this hypothetical trade comes down to whether the Lakers can sign another big name in the offseason to add to Lebron and AD. If they can’t this trade would not be a failure per se, but it wouldn’t make as much sense as most people believe it to be.
Disagree? Let me know below. Want to debate other options, maybe some sleeper teams in the competition? I’d be happy to hear your opinion. Just comment below