Photo courtesy of washingtonpost.com
Anthony Davis finally got his wish Saturday afternoon when Pelicans Executive VP David Griffin pulled the trigger. Davis is on his way to LA where he will join LeBron James and surprisingly Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers were able to hold onto Kuzma as they value him tremendously.
The package getting sent to New Orleans includes Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and 3 first round picks. One of those first round picks includes the 4th overall pick in this years draft.
The Lakers will now have a power trio of Kuzma, LeBron, and Davis. The problem being, they lost some key pieces in this trade. As Hart, Ball, and Ingram go, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Reggie Bullock, and JaVale McGee are all free agents as well. This also includes the Lakers getting rid of the draft pick that could have turned into a key contributor this year.
What the Lakers do have is money. Look for them to be active in free agency. Some names to look out for are Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Goran Dragic, Khris Middleton, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, and DeAndre Jordan. Those are some big names that could come in and be huge factors immediately. It all depends on what they are offered by their current teams for a lot of them.
For the Pelicans, they got a huge return. Looking at a starting lineup of Ball, Jrue Holiday, Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Julius Randle is huge. This also includes the bench with Hart, the 4th overall pick (potentially DeAndre Hunter out of Virginia), and maybe some key pieces in free agency. I would expect for New Orleans to go out and get a couple veteran guys that can help this young team grow. Some options for free agents include Trevor Ariza, Harrison Barnes, Jeff Green, Paul Millsap, and Marc Gasol. Each of these guys can still play and also help the young guys grow.
Another what-if scenario for you, the Phoenix Suns send the 6th overall pick along with some sort of package to the Pelicans for Lonzo Ball. The Suns really want Ball and could put him with DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker. This would also give New Orleans 3 picks in the top 6 to build greatly for their future.
For now, fans just need to sit back and let the festivities begin as free agency is kicking off soon. One thing is for certain, the Lakers are definitely not done yet. It is time to figure out just how lethal LeBron James and Anthony Davis truly can be together. Also, it is time to figure out who is going to join them. Check back in to the twitter page for immediate updates on NBA free agency and trades as they come.