By Sean Hartnett
The reported trade of six-time All-Star forward Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers immediately alters the NBA’s Western Conference landscape. After six playoff-less seasons, the Lakers appear ready to contend now that Davis will be joining superstar LeBron James in Tinseltown.
According to ESPN, the Lakers sent Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans to land Davis. One of the picks is the fourth overall selection in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Though Los Angeles surrendered a massive haul, Davis will instantly improve a Lakers’ squad that went 37-45 last season and finished 10th overall in the Western Conference. Davis is a three-time NBA blocks leader and was voted to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team First Team in 2018.
The 26-year-old big man has averaged 23.7 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 2.4 blocks per game over the course of his seven-year career.
James shared his reaction to Davis joining the Lakers on his official Instagram.
“AD on da way!! Let’s get it bro! Just the beginning… #LakeShow,” James posted.
James has been crowned NBA champion three times in his career – twice while a member of the Miami Heat and most recently while a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. The 34-year-old is a four-time NBA MVP and 15-time All-Star.
With Davis joining James in L.A., the Lakers now are the betting favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA championship at 3-1 odds.
Some analysts and media have accused the Lakers of overpaying for Davis – though no one offered a stronger critique than Lonzo Ball’s outspoken father, LaVar.
“I guarantee, it will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship,” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “They're going to regret it. I'm going to have fun with it. Because I told you all, it was crashing down.”
The Lakers undoubtedly parted with considerable assets to acquire Davis, but most experts tend to agree that the deal will place the Lakers back among the NBA’s heavyweights. After years of futility, “The Lake Show” appears to be back on track.