With the 2019 NBA Finals coming to a close, the Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to improve their roster around LeBron James for the 2019-20 NBA season.
Armed with the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a max-contract slot, the Lakers have options but all of the attention is on Anthony Davis’ future with the New Orleans Pelicans.
As executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin was unable to change Davis’ mind on the trade request, the Pelicans are listening to offers now.
For Griffin, he reportedly is seeking a certain trade package for Davis, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Griffin is pursuing a combination of assets that include an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks, league sources said. Those wants are on a sliding scale. For example, the better the player, the softer the asks on the draft picks — and vice versa.
Since it will likely have to be a multi-team trade to fulfill Griffin’s current demands, it appears the Lakers have made progress, according to Ian Begley of SportsNet New York:
ESPN reported on Tuesday that the Lakers are the “leader in the clubhouse” for a potential Davis trade. One league source said Tuesday that Los Angeles had made progress towards completing a multi-team deal.
After nearly five months since Davis’ initial trade request, the Lakers find themselves in a good position. As the New York Knicks do not have enough assets, agent Rich Paul warned the Boston Celtics Davis would be a one-year rental.
While the Pelicans should have accepted former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s ‘godfather’ offer by Feb. 7, they are quickly losing leverage by waiting.
As it is unclear which teams will be involved, it appears Lonzo Ball has received the most interest out of the young core. While there are debates about Ball, the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns have been linked to him.
Following five seasons of rebuilding through the NBA Draft, it would be difficult to trade the young core. However, Davis presents the Lakers with an opportunity to win now with James and for perhaps the next 6-7 seasons as well.