The Los Angeles Lakers have accomplished their biggest goal in finding a second All-Star player to pair with LeBron James for the 2019-20 NBA season.
That All-Star player is Anthony Davis whom the Lakers tried to acquire during the Feb. 7 trade deadline with then-president of basketball operations Magic Johnson leading talks.
The deal never went through with Johnson believing the New Orleans Pelicans were never negotiating in good faith and many do believe they had no desire to trade Davis at that time. This time with Johnson and general manager Dell Demps gone, general manager Rob Pelinka and executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin were able to get a deal done.
Johnson even took to Twitter to congratulate Pelinka on the trade despite his recent issues with him that he aired out publicly. Nonetheless, Johnson remains a Laker at heart and he recently spoke at the BET Genius Talks about how Davis and James will mesh:
“LeBron is still the best in basketball. When you put another superstar with him in Anthony Davis, both of them will allow each other now to really play their game and dominate. Because what happens is the floor opens up. LeBron is such an incredible passer and driver. He always makes his teammates better, so look for Anthony really to have probably one of his greatest seasons.”
This is certainly a belief shared by many and the main reason the Lakers aimed to pair the two together. The games of James and Davis pair together very well as both can play inside or outside and will draw the attention of the defense. James is obviously the better facilitator, but Davis has proven himself more than capable of finding the open man as well.
Additionally, Davis is accustomed to playing without the ball and even thrived playing with a ball-dominant point guard in Rajon Rondo. Each should allow more room for the other to operate as leaving either of them is simply not an option.
Even though Johnson left his position within the organization, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about the success of the Lakers. He put in a lot of work trying to get this deal done previously, so seeing it come through has to bring some sort of feeling of accomplishment — even though he wasn’t involved in the final deal.
The Lakers still have a ton to do in filling out the rest of their roster. Who they surround these two All-Star players with will decide whether or not this is a championship contender. However, getting James and Davis to build around is most important and the Lakers have accomplished that goal.