Looking at Anthony Davis’ Injury History

(Image/Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

With a minor thumb injury in pre-season and recent shoulder troubles, is Anthony Davis’ injury history a concern?

It could have been so much worse. During the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2nd pre-season game against the Brooklyn Nets on October 12, Anthony Davis went to reach for the ball, a routine defensive play, however, in doing so his thumb was forced in an unnatural position causing Davis to grimace with pain. Luckily the injury was minor, and he returned after a few days.

In the Lakers’ recent regular season game against the Memphis Grizzlies on October 30, Davis left the game with an apparent shoulder issue, much to the worries of fans. But returned to drop a historic, record-breaking 40 point and 20 rebound performance, in a blowout victory.

However, with both short-lived debacles, it has left many fans of the purple and gold wondering about Anthony Davis’ previous injury history.

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Is Anthony Davis injury prone?

Upon looking at Anthony Davis’s injury history since he entered the league as the 1st overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, it is easy to jump to the conclusion and label him as injury prone.

Without a shadow of a doubt, you can look at the laundry list of injuries he has picked up during his time in the NBA. However, you only need to look at the roster in which Davis had around him to understand how he was able to pick up a multitude of injuries,

During his time with the New Orleans Pelicans, the best players Davis had at his disposal were Jrue Holiday and for one single season, DeMarcus Cousins. While both of these players are former All-Stars, the vast majority of possession went through Davis’ hands, an unusual request to ask of a big man.

With the ball being in Davis’ hands and so much being asked of him so young, Davis was asked to play a ridiculous amount of minutes since he entered the league. 

Each year he ranks in the top percentile of minutes played in the NBA which can lead to a higher probability of picking up an injury. He joins the likes of current teammate, LeBron James, on this list.

With James previously having Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in Cleveland, and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, it took a lot of the pressure off of his body, leading him to do his best work.

With a lighter load, a deep roster, and players like Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James, you are going to see Anthony Davis play with a lot less stress and strain on his body, you will see a player with a lot more energy and we will see a potential MVP caliber season from the 26-year-old superstar.

Another caveat to add is the hiring of Dr. Judy Seto to the Lakers staff. Dr. Seto is world-renowned in her field and was responsible for keeping Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on the floor during his illustrious career.

Having Dr. Seto available, as well as the Lakers being closely linked to UCLA medical center, gives the franchise some of the best resources to keep each player in top physical shape throughout the season.

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Will Anthony Davis ever complete a full NBA season?

As NBA fans, we expect superstars to play every single game, we want to switch on the game and see LeBron James and Anthony Davis for 82 regular-season games putting opposing teams to the sword. While this would be amazing to see, it just isn’t that realistic in this day and age.

In 2019, playing a superstar every game is more counterproductive than you think. All basketball fans should want one thing for their franchises and that is playoff basketball, and competing for the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Look no further than the 2015/16, 73-9 Golden State Warriors. A truly historic team that redefined excellence in the regular season.

Having beaten Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the Chicago Bulls’ regular-season record, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that this team would go on to complete their historic season by lifting the NBA Championship trophy, capping off an unforgettable campaign. However, LeBron James and Co. had different ideas. The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Warriors in 7 games. 

The likes of Draymond Green and Steph Curry lamented that the strain of the regular season, and trying to break the regular-season record left them fatigued during their playoff run. Understandably so.

As long as Anthony Davis is a Laker, we shouldn’t want to see him play 82 games in a season. With the strength in depth the Lakers have in the forward positions, him or James should sit for back-to-back games. They both shouldn’t play significant minutes against lottery teams, and they certainly shouldn’t be playing every night of a long road trip.

The Lakers have enough depth across the roster to get to the playoffs without much exertion. The ideal scenario is having a fully healthy, and refreshed, LeBron James and Anthony Davis going into the postseason. Who can then give it everything to bring the purple and gold another championship banner. We don’t hang divisional banners.

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Is Anthony Davis the player the Los Angeles Lakers should build their future around?

Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the entire NBA, a top-tier superstar, one of the greatest defensive players the NBA has seen in a long long time, and an absolute monster on the offensive end, so….  absolutely he is the player the Los Angeles Lakers should build their future around post-LeBron James.

However, the purple and gold never rest on their laurels. You can bet that the day LeBron James is no longer a Laker is the day in which the purple and gold will be gunning hard for that 2nd superstar to join Anthony Davis. 

Early bets indicate that current MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the Laker’s top target to join Davis. There wouldn’t be a better duo. 

With Davis and Antetokounmpo, you get two of the best two-way players in the entire NBA, you get two of the most physically gifted players to enter the NBA since LeBron James, you get two unstoppable forces who can destroy you any way they see fit and you get two players whose games suit each other perfectly.

In Antetokounmpo, you get the ball handler who at nearly 7-foot tall can see over every defense and who drops dimes at an elite level. You get an unstoppable freight train in transition and you get a player who has that mean streak in him that will stomp on your throat and keep you down there.

In Davis, you get the most well-rounded power forward/center the NBA has seen since Tim Duncan. The brilliance of Davis is his ability to beat you from anywhere.

If you disrespect his game from beyond the arc, he will pull up in your face and drain the 3-ball. If you give him an inch on the perimeter, he will use his elite handles for a big man to embarrass and blow by with his speed en route to a monstrous dunk.

Now try and contain him in the paint. If you put one man on him, he is going to pick them apart with his vast array of advanced post moves, he can also pull this off with double-teams all over him. But for arguments sake, let’s say the double-team stops him from getting off his shot, he has the elite vision to pick out a player anywhere on the court for a wide-open shot.

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Let’s not get started on Davis’ ability to finish in the pick-and-roll.

With all the hyperbole about Davis’ offensive capabilities, you might think that is his strong suit. Oh no-no-no. 

Where Davis is truly the elite of the elite, is on the defensive end. 

He is one of the best rim protectors in NBA history. You get a player who can lock down every single big man in the NBA and who is more than capable of locking down some of the best small forwards in the NBA also. 

Any player who brings the ball into the paint against Anthony Davis will have their shot swatted away, their shot altered, or will walk away from the encounter in considerable more pain than when they started.

Banging down low in the paint with Anthony Davis is like backing into a brick wall that won’t give. With his otherworldly length, Davis will alter every shot you take in his vicinity.

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If you think a LeBron James and Anthony Davis combination is going to be incredible. Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo would be a pairing for the ages as two players in the height of their powers coming together to decimate the rest of the NBA. For any Laker fans out there, pray that this comes true.

With Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers have a secure and prosperous future. The purple and gold have a player who when it is all said and done will be mentioned in the same breath as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and Wilt Chamberlain. That’s rarified air. 

Here is hoping that Davis can bring a Championship to Laker land like the greats of old did before him.

By Jonathan Kiernan (@KiernanJonathan)


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The Anthony Davis Trade from a Pelicans Perspective

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Since the Anthony Davis deal was announced, social media has been full of opinions on who “won” the trade. Media coverage has been widespread, which has sparked debate between fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The deal does suit both teams, who are on different time-frames. With the Lakers acquiring a second star in an attempt to win instantly, and the Pelicans receiving a solid young core and draft picks, as they opt for, what they hope to be, a short rebuild.

Obviously the coverage that we have been providing has all been from a Lakers perspective. However to balance this, we have reached out to ‘Pelicans UK‘, who were created earlier this month, to get their viewpoint on the trade. We did cover a variety topics, including; Davis’ tenure in New Orleans, the Pelicans’ future moving forward, and more.

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Q: We see that you’ve been on Twitter since early June, welcome to the #NBAintheUK community. How long have you been a Pelicans fan for?

Pelicans UK: “Honestly, I’ve been a fan since around 2007. I remember it was JR’s last season with the Hornets before we traded for Tyson Chandler and finished as the #2 seed (those were the good days) and won the division title before a horrendous game 7 against the Spurs ended our dreams.”

Q: On June 15, the Pelicans and Lakers agreed on a deal for Anthony Davis. What are your views on the deal? Was it better than the package offered at the trade deadline back in February, or was it simply time to end the saga?

Pelicans UK: “It was a solid move from us, we took the emotion out of the trade, something I don’t think Dell Demps was able to do. Griff got the best option on the table and made it into so much more. I wouldn’t change our decision not to trade at the deadline if you gave me the option another 100 times. Actually make that 1000 times. Due to the whole saga, we ranked, ended up getting the 1st pick and a potential once in a generation talent. If the trade had gone ahead in January, there was a small chance we could have reached 8th seed, and you guys would definitely have been in the playoffs.”

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Q: The Pelicans have received three brilliant young players in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Laker fans will miss them, that’s for sure. Did you know much about the three before they were acquired? What are your expectations for them moving forward?

Pelicans UK: “The only one I wasn’t sure about was Josh Hart. Everyone knows Lonzo because of his dad, but he’s a lot more than that. He’s a proper old school point guard who, with the ball, makes things happen. Your team suffered with him sidelined and I don’t think he gets nearly enough credit. Ingram we know can easily be a leader if he stays healthy. He’s had glimpses of greatness but now he needs to prove it regularly. I think the key thing with the current roster that all Pels fans need to remember is be patient! Long term, I expect us to have THE best defensive guard partnership in the NBA and potentially with the right moves to be fighting towards the middle of the West (4th/5th place). People might call me mad but damn I’m a dreamer.”

Q: Back in January, Anthony Davis requested a trade away from New Orleans. What were your thoughts when you first saw the news, was it expected or was it assumed that Davis would commit long-term?

Pelicans UK: “There were 2 groups of people in NOLA when this broke. The “OH MY GOD HE WANTS TO LEAVE” group who were stunned by this, and the “it’s finally happened” group who realised he may leave after joining Klutch Sports. I was in the latter but for multiple reasons. After getting swept by the Warriors in the 2018 playoffs, there was a feeling that if we didn’t bring in a big superstar to pair up with AD and Jrue, AD would get distracted. Unfortunately I was right with that.”

Q: Could you provide your thoughts on the Anthony Davis era (2012-2019) in New Orleans, it wasn’t all doom and gloom was it? What was your favourite moment?

Pelicans UK: “The AD era was fun, right up until January. If he had left with some class and respect, he may have gotten the whole number retirement ceremony when he left, but “that’s all folks”. In regards to the best moment, it HAS to be the sweep of the Blazers in last years playoffs. The media were already ruling out the Pelicans, to the stage where every single ESPN pundit chose the Blazers to win, Lillard to dominate over Rondo and Jrue, were some of the headlines. AD turned up, and destroyed everything he saw going forward.”

Q: In the 2019 NBA Draft the Pelicans landed the #1 pick, selecting Zion Williamson, congratulations by the way, along with Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Marcos Louzada Silva. What are your expectations for next season with a whole host of young players? In the long run can the Pelicans develop into a serious contender?

Pelicans UK: “Absolutely I think we could become contenders. We are in a strong position. The overhaul of our front office (David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, Swin Cash, and Aaron Nelson, to name the main ones), the current young roster, cap space, and the future picks. With Griff in charge, and Langdon as GM, I think you give us a few years and everyone is going to be surprised. As for next season, my prediction is 42 to 46 wins, maybe finishing 7th or 8th. It’s a development season next year, guys like Jaxson Hayes will get used to playing the physical level of an NBA 5, hopefully with a decent vet to help him. And obviously Zion will get used to the NBA. But I think with a good off-season, I don’t see why we can’t cause 1/2 surprises. Plus, Lebron has only won 1 game at the Smoothie King since 2013, so we enjoy him coming to us.”

Q: Thank you for answering our questions. All the best for the off-season and the up-and-coming 2019/20 campaign. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see how the ex-Lakers develop!

Pelicans UK: “Good luck with AD, I hope he lives up to your high standards! I would just say he may go off once every 3 games with a small injury, he always comes back later that game!”


By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)

What Does a Trade for Anthony Davis Look Like?

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The Anthony Davis saga is one that has been rambling on for quite some time now. Since January 28, in fact, when Davis informed the Pelicans that he would not commit to a contract extension this off-season, and requested a trade. Such request was made public almost instantly, with speculation running wild as to where Davis will play his basketball next.

The Lakers appeared to be Davis’ preferred destination and it was almost guaranteed that he would be in the purple and gold come the February 7 trade deadline. Well, that’s what we thought anyway. In short, then President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, threw every young asset into a trade offer, the Pelicans refused to do business, the deadline passed, and Davis wasn’t moved.

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Last month, New Orleans surprisingly landed the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but Davis’ intentions to leave were reportedly still intact despite the eventuality of Zion Williamson becoming a Pelican. This leads us up to June 4, where Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that whilst teams were continuing to place calls on the availability of Anthony Davis, Executive Vice President, David Griffin, had now begun to listen to the offers.

The favourites at the time being touted make a move were; the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, and Nets. On June 6, the Nets opened up cap space by trading Allen Crabbe’s $18.5 million contract to the Atlanta Hawks. This was clearly an attempt to lure superstar free agents to Brooklyn this summer, but did involve giving up assets in the process (2019 #17 pick, 2020 1st round pick). Consequently, all but removing them from the race to acquire Davis.

Such move from the Nets has sent media speculation spiraling on Kyrie Irving potentially signing for Brooklyn in free agency, which has led to people debating whether Kevin Durant would link up with Irving, as he appears to want to move East too. It has been widely reported in the past that this link-up would be with the Knicks, but do the Nets now hold the cards? It appears so.

With the walls crumbling around the Knicks, yet again, they may well veer away from the Anthony Davis sweepstakes and opt for a rebuild. On June 11, Ian Begley of SNY suggested that some members of the Knicks organisation are “uncomfortable with the idea” of giving up a multitude of assets to acquire Davis.

In addition, with the Celtics looking ever-so-likely to be losing Kyrie Irving in free agency, is them giving up multiple young players and assets the correct way to go for the franchise long-term? Especially when it could potentially be for a one-year rental. Many debate not.

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So where does that leave us? Well, it appears that the market for Anthony Davis may not be that deep after-all. The New Orleans Pelicans are currently stuck with a disgruntled superstar who they are attempting to move via trade in a limited market, ideally before the draft on June 20. Obviously, they will want the best possible package in return, but whether they can actually get what they desire is a different story.

An update was provided on June 10 from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported that David Griffin had started to provide teams of what a suitable package for Davis would look like.

New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has started to provide potential suitors with the framework of the package that he is seeking in a trade for All-NBA forward Anthony Davis, including multi-team scenarios that would expand the Pelicans’ pool of assets in a deal, league sources told 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.

Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN Senior NBA Insider

But for now, we have asked some of our followers on Twitter what they believe an ideal, fair trade package would look like, for Anthony Davis.

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Amandeep (@AmanRai1999):

Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Moritz Wagner, 2019 #4 Pick and 2020/21 1st round picks.

“I’d use this package because I feel you have two guys with tremendous upside. Lonzo-Lavar now is a scary prospect, playing with less pressure and injury free. Ingram post All-Star break was on FIRE averaging around 27 points. Hart is a versatile shooter perfect for the bench and Wagner may be just to help salary. The 2019 pick secures a top prospect. Overall this package sets them up for a dynasty in the future. Maybe swap in Kuzma if they really admired him.”

Ryan (@r_acolley):

Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram OR Kyle Kuzma, 2019 #4 pick, 2020 1st round pick.

“Firstly I think you put the picks in there as I don’t think they are a great loss to the organisation judging on talent left at 4 and what could be available next season in the draft. AD is a fantastic player who can add a lot on both ends of the ball, his stats especially on D can be a real game changer for us. LeBron is clearly desperate for him join which is a massive factor in the decision not only to trade for him but also to bump up the collateral to offer. However, we do have a good group of young players currently on the roster, players that will have (hopefully) matured enough to carry this organisation forward, if need be, when LeBron goes.”

“Therefore is it really worth sacrificing this clearly fantastic group of young talent for one player? If we were to trade for AD, understandably the Pelicans would want the majority of the young core. But I think it’s vital to keep either Ingram or Kuzma. Any deal would have to include Ball, as the Pelicans seem to like him. Hart is a good player but we can cope without him.”

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Alisson (@AlissonDB12):

Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and 2/3 future 1st round picks.

“No team in the league has more than two good young players to offer, so we should definitely keep one, and this one should be Ingram. He’s not just the one with the highest ceiling but he’s also the most proven one and showed he can work with LeBron. What Ingram did after the All-Star break last season was outstanding. The Knicks are our biggest rival in this trade, but even though they have an earlier pick, Kevin Knox and Frank Nkilitina are not even close to Kuz and Ball.”

Mark (@mburland):

Lonzo Ball, 2019 #4 pick, 2022 1st round pick.

“Recent trades involving stars like PG, Kawhi and to an extent Porzingis should all inform what defines reasonable. What do we know? AD wants out and wants to control his destiny. It sounds familiar.”

“I’m not sure the above works salary wise, but let’s be clear, New Orleans lose any trade involving AD. If they get anything more than the above, they’ve come out pretty well.”

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Mohamoud (@Strawhat_mozef):

Lonzo Ball to the Phoenix Suns, 2019 #6 pick to the Lakers.

Brandon Ingram, 2019 #4 pick, 2019 #6 pick to New Orleans.

“This is the thing with AD. Not only is he a perennial All-Star, he could also be the best player in the world for years to come. When you are presented with a player of that calibre you do everything possible to acquire him. The Lakers are in a situation where they have options. Do they contend now, or build their roster around their young players? If we were talking about the Suns or Hawks, then I would always be inclined to say that the bigger picture is more important. For the Lakers, however, it is now or never.”

“LeBron is not getting younger and he still has enough juice left for a few more postseason runs. Now, the Lakers were extremely lucky to get the number 4 pick and I believe that swings the AD saga in their favour. To get the best possible outcome, it would need to be a three-team deal and this is what I believe is the best way forward. The Lakers trade Lonzo to the Suns for the 6th pick. The Lakers then package that 6th pick with their own pick (4th) plus Ingram for Anthony Davis. The Suns get a point guard, which they have been wanting for years now, the Pelicans get three top-6 picks plus Ingram. The Lakers can then build their team around LeBron and AD.”


By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)

Why Anthony Davis Needs To Leave New Orleans for Los Angeles

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Ever since LeBron James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers back in July 2018, the topic of conversation surrounding who will be the second superstar to line up beside him has been one of intense speculation. It was widely expected that Paul George would be the man to pair up with James, as he also entered free agency after what appeared to be a rental period in Oklahoma. However, the Lakers’ approach of waiting on him backfired with George opting to remain with the Thunder.

In 2019 free agency, there are various stars available to pursue, including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, and Jimmy Butler. Leonard reportedly possesses a desire to play in Los Angeles but it may be for the city rivals, the Clippers. Durant does seem an option, however he made comments recently about the ‘toxic’ environment in Los Angeles, to James’ disproval. Whilst Thompson and Irving seem set to stay with the Warriors and Celtics, respectively. As for Jimmy Butler, well you never know where he could end up next.

The worst-case scenario would be the Lakers striking out in free agency, and this is entirely possible. Such scenario would heap an enormous amount of pressure on Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka to make a significant move, fast.

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This leads onto the option of acquiring arguably one of the most talented and sought-after stars in the current NBA landscape, Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. The 25-year-old has the full arsenal, this season Davis is averaging 28.5 points per game, along with 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.6 blocks. Such numbers have propelled Davis into the MVP conversation, and it is no wonder that he is in demand by big market teams as they aim to overthrow the Golden State Warriors.

Although, the 6-foot-10 superstar out of Kentucky will not hit free agency until the summer of 2020 and the Pelicans have not yet expressed any indication that they will be trading away their marquee player. Whilst Davis undoubtedly has been performing at an unbelievably high level for several years now, the Pelicans have only reached the playoffs once during Davis’ time in New Orleans. This season the Pelicans sit second from bottom in a packed West Conference, with a record of 18-22.

Anthony Davis has remained nothing but professional when quizzed about his future in New Orleans, as it appears that he holds a great deal of respect towards the organisation, the city, and the fans. Whilst this is admirable, it is now time for Davis to start taking care of his own future due to him being 25-years-old, about to enter the prime years of his career. He has started to control his own destiny, as he recently joined forces with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents LeBron James.

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Whilst Davis is still in New Orleans, the Pelicans will tempt him with a $239.5 million ‘super-max’ contract extension in the summer of 2019, $87.3 million more than can be offered elsewhere. There is no doubt that that is a lot of money, but Davis recently stated that he would take legacy over money. Interesting, right? Does this mean that it is a possibility that we could see the Chicago-born superstar in the purple and gold? The Lakers can certainly offer Davis a legacy, following in the footsteps of the greats such as George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal. Davis deserves to be fighting for championships year in, year out. It is as simple as that.

With the recent speculation that LeBron caused when implying that he would be all for the Lakers acquiring Anthony Davis, there is some understanding sympathy for GMs of smaller market teams who complained about James’ comments. The situation they find themselves in attempting to retain top talent is difficult but there is little that can be done, after all the best players want to play for teams in championship contention, and that can be understood as well.

From the Lakers’ perspective, LeBron James has just turned 34-years-old and is currently on the sideline nursing a groin injury. We may not want to admit it, but his time at the top will not go on forever and whilst Anthony Davis is a generational talent, his leadership skills and ability to lead a team in the face of adversity is yet to be seen. However, a transition post-LeBron to Davis would be more than ideal for the Lakers, keeping the franchise relevant at the very top of the NBA for years to come.

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Then again, other teams will have their eyes set on the big prize in Davis. Namely the Boston Celtics who have been reported as having more assets to offer than the Lakers but are unable to make a move until the summer. Although, all parties are aware that Davis has the power of his future in his own hands. One thing is for sure, Magic and Pelinka will be keeping tracks on the situation materialising in New Orleans.

By Dave Keenan (@AzumaDriver)

Trade Options For The Lakers

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Most Laker fans seem satisfied with the season so far, despite starting 2-5, the team have improved considerably finding themselves lurking in the midpoint of the Western Conference playoff picture, within touching distance of top spot. Regardless of this, fans do have an eye on prospective trades to improve the roster further. It appears that the Lakers hierarchy may be having similar thoughts, too.

December 15th is the important date and is the date that it seems every NBA fan has been waiting patiently for. This is when players who were signed in summer free agency are eligible to be traded. Trade rumours and speculation have been spiraling over the past few weeks, and whilst many names have been linked to join the Lakers, some have been touted as potential trade chips. One name, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, seems to be the centerpiece of any trade rumour, mainly due to his flexible 1-year $12 million contract.

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It seems that Caldwell-Pope may be open to a move away from Los Angeles, as reports suggest that his representatives are working to find the 25-year-old a better situation as he aims to secure a lucrative long-term contract in 2019 free agency. The Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets have been named as possible destinations for Caldwell-Pope.

A trade may be looming, with multiple names rumoured to be joining the Lakers. I am sure more will be associated in the forthcoming weeks as we fast-approach the New Year, although for the time being we are going to review some of the names touted to join forces with LeBron James in Los Angeles.

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Trevor Ariza

As first reported by ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski earlier on in the week, former Laker Trevor Ariza could be a possible option via a three-team trade. The struggling Pheonix Suns will not be short of choice when it comes to moving the 2009 NBA Champion, as contending teams look to bolster their rosters. However, it is evidently clear that Pheonix will be looking for assets in return.

Ariza would be a welcomed addition to the Lakers, bringing a veteran presence to the team. As a defensive wing with length that can drain the three-pointer, many can see why the 33-year-old could contribute to a Lakers team that desire to make noise come playoff time. In almost every scenario, Caldwell-Pope would be included for salary purposes, possibly to the third team, as Ariza is on a 1-year $15 million contract. The question remains, what further assets would it take to tempt the Suns to part ways with Ariza?

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John Wall

I’m not too sure where to start with this one. A few weeks back, it was rumoured that the Lakers had offered numerous young assets and draft picks for the 28-year-old point guard of the Washington Wizards. Apparently Lonzo Ball, Caldwell-Pope (for obvious reasons) and a third player believed to be out of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma, had been involved in trade discussions.

Undoubtedly, Wall is a star player and could potentially fit well alongside LeBron James, although Wall is in the final year of his current contract ($19.1 million) before a huge $170 million extension kicks in. The extension, strongly considered the worst contract in the NBA, will lock him in until 2023 and see Wall being paid $47.3 million at 32-years-old.

Washington look in disarray at the moment and are potentially looking to rebuild, therefore a trade centered around the Lakers’ young assets and draft picks would be appealing for the Wizards. On the other hand, the Lakers may not be willing to break up their young core to take on Wall and that enormous contract.

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Bradley Beal

Staying with the Washington Wizards, their star shooting guard Bradley Beal may be a more sustainable option for the Lakers. Much like the John Wall speculation, to get Beal to Los Angeles would most certainly involve breaking up the young core, with future draft picks being included also. Beal has two more years remaining on his current contract beyond this season, that will see him being paid $27.1 million for the 2019/20 season and $28.7 million in his final year.

Obviously, Beal is a more appealing option financially and is still only 25-years-old. This move would provide the Lakers with a much-needed shooter and could be deemed more of a long-term option for the team. Beal has a much broader market than Wall, so if the Lakers come knocking, they’ll most likely not be the only team.

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Kemba Walker

Now this one would be a great fit. Not many reports have specified that the Lakers are interested in the Charlotte Hornets star, but he could be an option for sure. Walker is having a fantastic season so far, averaging 25.8 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals. In the closing stages of games, the Lakers have been heavily reliant on LeBron James, signing Walker would immediately solve that issue.

Walker is in the final year of his current contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer, so the Lakers would not have to give up as much asset-wise as the options noted above but would need assurances of Walker signing long-term. Although, this trade would under most circumstances involve giving up a young asset, at the very least. Is it worth pulling the trigger to acquire a player of Kemba Walker’s pedigree?

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Anthony Davis

The thought of this one has most Laker fans drooling. A generational talent, Davis would certainly involve clearing house as the majority of the young core would be moved on, along with veterans to match salaries and numerous draft picks.

Earlier this month, a trade scenario was reported by Brandon Robinson that included three teams, the Lakers and Pelicans along with the Orlando Magic. It was reported that Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Caldwell-Pope would be the players involved, with the Lakers asking for Elfrid Payton or Ian Clark in return. In regards to draft picks, Robinson reported that “next year’s first-round pick is involved and most likely multiple picks”.

Rob Pelinka is apparently working on numerous trade packages to acquire Davis. Who, if he was to be acquired, would make the Lakers a contender moving forward and a legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors. However, the Pelicans currently have the 25-year-old under contract until 2021 and are not forced to part ways with their superstar unless Davis states his intent to play elsewhere.

Obviously, apart from Trevor Ariza, all of the above scenarios are dependent on whether Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka want to keep the young core intact and whether they want to remain with cap flexibility going into 2019 free agency. A free agency period which boasts names such as Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and so on.

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter over at @lakersfanclubuk.

By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)