Back by the popular demand of pretty much only myself, it’s the second annual edition of Around the NBA in 15 Trades. We’re taking all 30 teams in the lead up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline and finding a happy middle ground for prosperous barterdom.
Let’s start this thing off with a bang. This year’s trading season is sure to bring its fair share of ruckus, but right now, in the harrowed words of Peppy Hare, “It’s quiet, too quiet.”
Rumors of Anthony Davis to Los Angeles permeated through the Twitterverse ever since LeBron James said Davis was good at basketball, they had dinner together, and the Pelicans big man became a member of Klutch Sports — yes, the same agency that represents LeBron.
In other words: The Brow going Hollywood is inevitable. As an objective journalist, I’ll adopt it as my duty to find the best trade possible and make it happen.
F/C, Anthony Davis
PG, Lonzo Ball; F, Brandon Ingram; SG, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope; 2019 1st Round Pick
Why the Lakers do it:
Because pairing two top-five, non-redundant players would make them the scariest team this side of the 2000-01 Lakers.
L.A. entered win-now mode ever since LeBron came to Tinsel Town. They didn’t sign him only to sit on their hands and be patient. They certainly don’t want to squander the King’s remaining transcendence, but *looks around, whispers* maybe their young assets aren’t all that special.
While LeBron needs fresh-legged talent around him, it needs to be battle-tested and ready to compete in the postseason in just a few short months.
As it stands, the Lakers’ former high-lottery picks present more questions than answers. Like, will Lonzo Ball be able to shoot over 50 percent on free throws? Or, is Brandon Ingram actually good…or is he just tall? There’s no guarantee either of them blossom into stars.
Taking whatever value they still have and converting it into a generational force-of-nature should be a move they’d do every day and twice on Sunday. Remember, a Brow in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Why the Pelicans do it:
Look, the Pelicans are going nowhere fast. The West, yet again, is a merciless round-robin of torment and death. Even the 14th-best team in the conference is on pace to win 37 games and New Orleans is hardly better than that.
If the Pelicans have any inclination Davis will hit the bricks in free agency, it’s pragmatic to get out ahead of it and pull a big haul before their leverage diminishes.
Yes, I realize what I just said about Ball and Ingram a few short paragraphs ago, but they’re both only 21-years old and have high pedigrees. Plus, it’s entirely plausible their development has actually been hindered by LeBron. Especially Ball, who, as a pass-first point guard, needs the rock in his hands to be most effective.
I bet New Orleans could even hold out for a second first-rounder — and I bet Los Angeles wouldn’t think twice about including it.