For the first time in a while, there’s a chance of a lights-out dynamic duo taking over the Western Conference. With Adrian Wojnarowski reporting Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans, teams are lining up to acquire the five-time NBA All-Star.
However, not every team can make the trade for Davis, whether it’s because teams lack assets or cap space, or the Derrick Rose Rule in the Celtics’ case.
One team none of that applies to is the Los Angeles Lakers, who have youth and salary space to take on the elite big man. There are already reports the Pelicans will want Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Ivica Zubac, plus a First Round pick, in exchange for Davis.
If that’s all New Orleans is looking for, Lakers should send the paperwork over as soon as possible. Los Angeles has never been a team to wait on their younger players, despite several blossoming into bonafide superstars throughout the franchise’s history. They are a win now team. With LeBron James as the face of the franchise, how can you not be?
Bringing in Davis would give the Lakers the NBA’s best dynamic duo since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. None of note—all not having a major third piece (i.e. Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, or James and Dwyane Wade)—have been able to win the NBA finals since that terrifying Lakers pair. Even then, the Lakers traded for Bryant at the draft and O’Neal started his career with the Orlando Magic.
Everything about Davis moving to Los Angeles makes sense for the franchise that currently sits ninth in the Western Conference with a 26-24 record. And it would turn the West on its head.
Now barely a .500 team, the Lakers would instantly put them in the postseason conversation and gives them a legitimate shot to move up to sixth, maybe even fifth in the standings. (Los Angeles currently trails the fifth-seeded Houston Rockets by 3.5 games in the standings.)
Furthermore, they’ll be a significantly better team than their ranking, creating a tougher matchup than initially expected for whoever they draw in the postseason. This isn’t to say the Lakers would win the West this year. But if the Lakers can keep the pair and find other valuable assets—like a Kyle Korver-type and maybe a physical big man—they could turn into a force capable of challenging the Golden State Warriors. Especially when the fab four becomes a threesome or twosome—of course, assuming Davis sticks around for the long haul, too.