Winners/Losers of the Anthony Davis saga

The Woj Bomb that everyone has been waiting for has finally been dropped.

As Adrian Wojnarowski first reported, the Pelicans acquired a huge haul and the Lakers landed their superstar to join Lebron James. This is one of the biggest trades in the NBA in recent memory, and it will be met with a lot of praise and criticism. This is a crazy fun way to start the offseason, so with Anthony Davis now in Los Angeles and a few rising stars going to the Big Easy, let’s take a look at the winners and losers of this epic trade.


New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are the big winners in the Anthony Davis trade. They acquired Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks. They flipped the fourth overall pick to the Atlanta Hawks for additional assets, which turned into Nickeil Alexander-Walker (SG – Virginia Tech) and Jaxson Hayes (PF/C – Texas).

This is a huge haul and a huge win for a small market team that wants to keep their rebuilding period as short as possible. With these new assets, they now have one of the youngest and most exciting cores in the NBA and plenty of ammo and cap space to go land a star on the market if they so choose. It is an exciting time to be a New Orleans Pelicans fan.

Lebron James/Anthony Davis/Rich Paul

In the end, this trio got what they wanted ever since last season’s trade deadline debacle, Davis in a Lakers’ uniform. Whether this move works out for the Lakers in the long run remains to be seen, but it is a promising start to their offseason.

Many may not like how these three went about joining forces, but they did what they had to do in order to force the Pelicans’ hand at making the move, and for this, they are winners.

David Griffin

What a start to his Pelicans’ tenure. The Pelicans named David Griffin as the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in mid-April, and Griffin has not wasted any time trying to expedite his new team’s rebuilding stage. With the huge haul that the Pelicans acquired from the Lakers, Griffin got exactly what he wanted in three young, budding stars and multiple draft picks.

This trade may have gone in another direction had the Boston Celtics offered up Jayson Tatum in trade talks, but this was the best deal on the table, and Griffin could not ask for much more.

He now has a fantastic group of young players that he can build around, in addition to underrated star Jrue Holiday, and can hope to possibly contend in the Western Conference as soon as next season.

Lakers’ prospects of adding a Third star

It seems like most offseasons we hear rumors that the Lakers will go after the biggest fish on the market, yet recently they have struggled to wrangle these big fish in. With the Lebron James-Anthony Davis pairing now in LA, they are a much more attractive destination for big free agents.

If they can land at least one more superstar on the market, they should be able to contend for a top spot in the Western Conference next season. That is if Davis can stay healthy for the majority of the season, which he has had trouble with throughout his career.

Lonzo Ball/Brandon Ingram/Josh Hart

This trio didn’t necessarily have a bad season last year, but it was definitely nothing special. This was in part, a huge part at that, due to the trade rumors that swirled around the trade deadline once Anthony Davis announced that he wanted out of New Orleans.

After the trade failed, it was hard for the young guys to regain composure and compete at a high level again. This, along with injuries, definitely made for a rough season for these players. Now with the trade complete, they have an opportunity to start something great in New Orleans alongside Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday, and make a big name for themselves in the NBA.

If they can focus on the court and play distraction-free basketball, this young nucleus could do something really special with their new team (though this might be hard with Lavar Ball now in New Orleans).


Zion/AD combo in Nola

When the 2019-2020 NBA season came to a close, it was only a matter of time before Anthony Davis was moved. Despite Griffin’s best efforts to convince him to stick around, Davis did not withdraw his trade request and, consequently, was traded to the Lakers. But the thought of having a backcourt pairing of Zion Williamson and Davis was so much fun to imagine. As expected though, these thoughts will remain only in our imaginations for the near future.

Lakers’ long-term future

If we look at this trade in the short-term, it looks to be a win for both parties involved. But when judging a trade, you must also look at it in the long-term. Yes, the Lakers acquired the star they’ve been longing for alongside James, but the trade definitely puts their long-term future in question.

They had to part ways with not only three young players (and potential stars) but also three draft picks. Based on how the draft seedings end up in the coming years, this trade could affect the Lakers’ draft until the 2025 season (six years from now!!).

That gives the Lakers minimal opportunity to build around Davis, James, and Kyle Kuzma with young talent. They must now hope to acquire role players or other superstars through free agency and the trade market.

Don’t get me wrong, this trade could work out for the Lakers long-term as well, but it will be a tough task for the front office to build for the future without their young core and draft picks.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks were rumored to be a huge contender for Davis’s services. The Knicks excused themselves from the trade table when they came to the belief that they could not meet the demands of the Pelicans, surely the third overall pick in the 2019 draft and multiple young assets.

Adding Davis to their roster would have almost certainly would have attracted another star or two to the Big Apple. Although it was clear that the Knicks were determined to acquire Davis, they were reluctant to mortgage their future, and they must now look to the draft and free agency to turn the long-suffering franchise around.

Dell Demps

Where do I begin with Dell Demps? Let’s look at just a few of Demps’s terrible deals.

In 2014, he traded a first-round pick to the Houston Rockets to acquire Omer Asik. After averaging 7.3 PPG in his first season with the Pelicans, Demps then gave Asik a five-year, 60 million dollar contract!

In 2016, Demps signed Solomon Hill to a huge, unwarranted contract (four years, $48 million), after averaging only 4.2 points per game with the Pacers in the previous season.

That has to be the end of Demps’s history of bad decisions, right? Wrong.

In 2017, he took a huge risk in trading Buddy Hield, their 2017 first and second round picks, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway to the Kings in a blockbuster trade to acquire DeMarcus Cousins. This looked like a great idea at first glance, but with Boogie departing New Orleans soon after and Hield now balling out in Sacramento, this trade blew up right in Demps’s face.

The last straw for Demps with the Pelicans ownership was the Anthony Davis trade debacle. Dell Demps getting fired has been foreseen for a few years now by the Pelicans’ faithful, but the Pelicans now seem to be in good hands with David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, and Swin Cash at the helm.

Lavar Ball

And last but not least, we come to the infamous Lavar Ball. No, this is not a typo, I am actually talking about an NBA player’s father. When trade rumors began around the trade deadline, Lavar Ball announced that if Lonzo was to be traded, he wanted him to play in Phoenix, not New Orleans.

Well, lo and behold, Lonzo is now in New Orleans and will be part of an exciting group in the Big Easy. Although Lavar has now recanted his prior outburst about Lonzo being in New Orleans, he is still a loser in this trade due to him not getting exactly what he wanted.

He also should not be anywhere near an NBA team due to the distractions he causes, so here’s to hoping he closes his mouth and lets Lonzo’s play speak for itself.

Ya Win Some, Ya Lose Some

Boston Celtics

This section fits the Boston Celtics’ situation to a T. I wouldn’t call the Celtics a huge loser in the aftermath of this trade, but I also wouldn’t go as far as saying that they are huge winners.

The main reason for Boston partly losing is pretty obvious, they will not have Anthony Davis on their roster next season. According to sources, the Celtics were not willing to part ways with their most electric player, Jayson Tatum, who was David Griffin’s prized gem in trade discussions.

This was a safe move for the Celtics, who were not 100 percent sure if Davis would sign an extension after the final year of his contract is up, as Rich Paul stated time after time that he would not do so. If this is in fact true, their reluctance to trade Tatum, other pieces of their young, exciting core, and draft picks could turn out to be a smart move for Danny Ainge.

But we will always have that “what if” thought in our minds, especially after how the Kawhi one-year rental gamble turned out for the Raptors.







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