Pelicans Agree to Trade Davis to Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers reached an agreement this weekend with the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire all-star forward Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
The deal will have the Lakers sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks including the number 4 overall selection in Thursday’s NBA draft. The expectation is the deal completion will happen on July 6.
The Lakers were able to avoid including Kyle Kuzma in the trade allowing the Lakers to have three scoring options on their roster with Davis and LeBron James as they will attempt to fill out the remainder of their roster with depth.
The Lakers also have money to attempt to sign too mid-level players as they are $27.8 million under the cap. The total is not enough to sign another max player without paying the luxury tax. Davis holds a 15 percent trade bonus worth $4 million that would see the Lakers’ cap space shrink to $23.8 million although Davis has the right to void the bonus. The Lakers will still need to look towards signing Davis to a long term deal as he is currently going into the last year of his current contract.
Davis now paired with James gives the Lakers a powerful duo in a wide-open Western Conference in the wake of Golden State being without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson for the majority if not all of next season.
There is also the question whether both players resign with Golden State as Thompson is a free-agent and Durant can opt out of his deal this summer.
The Lakers attempted to acquire Davis this winter, but the talks broke down before the trade deadline. James posted on his Instagram account, “AD on da way!! Let’s get it bro! Just the beginning.”
The Pelicans were also talking with the Boston Celtics on trading three-time All-NBA player, but the Celtics were unwilling to offer as much as the Lakers did.
The Pelicans are expected to select Zion Williamson at No. 1 on Thursday night and could pick up another quality prospect at No. 4 or trade the pick for more assets or a player. The team has a lot of flexibility and the ability to maximize the assets they received from the Lakers to build a playoff contender this season.
The Pelicans starting lineup next season is now expected to include point guard Jrue Holiday, Ball at the two-guard, small-forward Ingram, and power forward Williamson.
The Lakers odds to win the title have moved to 7-2 as the team stands as the favorite to win the NBA championship next season.
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