Woah. As of Saturday evening, one of the most dissected, anticipated, rumoured trades in NBA history has finally gone down.
Pelicans receive: Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, two first round picks and 2019 1st round pick (pick 4).
Lakers receive: Anthony Davis
Trade Winner: Lakers
We’re firm believers that in today’s NBA, one superstar is ALWAYS going to be better value in a trade than whatever comes back the other way.
That is particularly so when that superstar is arguably one of the top 3 – 5 overall players in the NBA.
Whatever any team gave up to get him, they were always going to win any trade involving Anthony Davis. Simply because they were getting Anthony Davis.
That said, importantly for the Lakers’ prospects for next season and beyond, Rob Pelinka and co. somehow managed to hold on to Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma is easily LA’s best young asset, and that they managed to get AD without losing him is a massive coup.
Ball, Hart and Ingram are all reasonable young players, and all are an outside chance to make an All-NBA team at some point in their careers, but they’ve shown nothing comparable to Kuzma’s proven ability to score, rebound and play reasonable defence.
The picks, particularly number 4 in this year’s draft, are on paper a high price to pay. However, consensus seems to be that outside of Zion, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett, this year’s draft class falls away quickly.
The Lakers would have had no issue whatsoever dishing their draft assets.
There’s a new Big 2 in the West, and with that conference now wide open thanks to the demise of the Warriors, LA are a genuine chance to go deep in to the playoffs.
Trade Loser: No one?
The Pelicans lost their once-in-a-generation superstar, but they did pretty well in return.
This was the equal or better of any trade offer New Orleans were likely to receive from anywhere around the league.
They were never going to pick up a superstar in return; that was off the table. The best the Pels could have done in terms of one singular player may have been Jayson Tatum, but arguably the combination of Ball, Ingram and Hart is far better than any combination of tangible assets the Celtics could’ve offered up.
Plus, pick 4 is the best draft asset they were going to get.
Davis was gone no matter what; New Orleans could hardly have done anything more to keep him. If the prospect of playing with Zion wasn’t enough, nothing would be.
Kudos to David Griffen and the Pelicans front office. They’ve made the best of a bad situation.
This may just be the first domino to fall in a wild NBA offseason. We can’t wait.
Written and produced for Sportstips.com by Eddie Dadds