As you’ve probably heard by now Anthony Davis is now a Los Angeles Laker. Lonzo Ball, Brandan Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first round picks (Including the #4 overall pick) are heading to New Orleans in exchange for Anthony Davis. This move will have a big impact on the NBA as whole, but also on the two teams involved.
The Lakers have their second star. Not only that, but they found a way to keep Kyle Kuzma, which was a priority for them. The Lakers will have roughly $43 million in cap space going into free agency, which gives them a lot of options. They could sign a third star to pair with Lebron and AD, or they could sign multiple serviceable role players. A third star would most likely be the more favorable option in the eyes of Rob Pelinka. There’s no clear cut best team in the West after the injuries to both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. If the Lakers were able to sign a player like Kyrie Irving or Jimmy Butler, they could solidify an already strong roster.
It would be hard to argue that they wouldn’t be favored to win next season. Obviously they’re lacking in bench depth, as the only players still on the roster are Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and LeBron James. The Lakers could bring pack players like Reggie Bullock, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Mike Muscala to give them some shooting off the bench. The Lakers are in a terrific spot right now with two super stars on their roster.
The New Orleans Pelicans are in a great position after this trade as well. Yes, they did lose one of the best players in the NBA, but in return they got one of the brightest young point guards in Lonzo Ball, a high potential scorer in Brandon Ingram, and a young talent in Josh Hart. New Orleans now has both the first and forth overall picks, which means they’re future is bright. They’ll most likely pick Zion Williamson with the first overall pick, and with the forth pick, they have a lot of options. They could draft a very talented wing player like Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter, or they could even trade back, and take a player like Jaxson Hayes to fill the center position. Here’s a potential starting lineup for New Orleans next season.
PG – Lonzo Ball
SG – Jrue Holiday
SF – Brandon Ingram
PF – Zion Williamson
C – Julius Randle
That’s an optimistic starting lineup, and they’d have depth with players like Josh Hart coming off the bench for them. With the amount of talent on this roster, they could be one of the best teams for years to come.
The NBA is completely wide open right now. The Warriors being riddled with injuries leaves more room for teams to take advantage. The Raptors could look to repeat, but with the uncertainty surrounding Kawhi Leonard at the moment, that might not happen. Teams like Denver and Houston could add a couple more pieces this offseason and try and make a run at the finals. Milwaukee and Philadelphia could make a run towards the finals next season as their young stars develop. Teams like Indiana and Portland could be dark horses as well. NBA fans have complained for years about how uninteresting the league has been, and the Anthony Davis trade just blew the doors to the NBA wide open.