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The Los Angeles Lakers have been involved in trade rumors seemingly since the day LeBron James arrived. The idea of pairing him alongside some of the NBA’s best players is a high priority for president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka.
While the Lakers appeared to swing and miss with the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Jimmy Butler, New Orleans Pelicans All-Star power forward Anthony Davis is ripe for the picking to land via trade or free agency in 2020.
The conundrum the Lakers are left with is whether to wait a couple years to land the talented 25-year-old, or do what it takes now to secure him while James is still high off his dosage of vibranium.
It has been reported Johnson would prefer to keep his young core intact. This should not be discounted, as there is good reason to feel this way.
However, if that’s what it takes to get Davis, you do what you have to do.
Think about it. James will turn 34 on Dec. 30. Assuming his epic run of staying in impeccable shape and Wolverine-like durability continues, who’s to say he would want to wait two more years to team up with arguably the second-best player in the league?
James wants to win now. His legacy is at stake and not only that, he has bigger things waiting on the horizon rather than playing into his late 30’s.
Not only that, but James shied away from his usual cryptic messages and sent a message to Johnson and Pelinka loud and clear that he would love to have Davis in LA with him.
Per ESPN, prior to the Lakers’ loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the idea of Davis was brought up to James, and this is what he said: “That would be amazing. That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible.”
Now, if you have been following James his entire 16-year career, you would know he is quite calculating. He is fully aware to the T that every word he utters is dissected by media members and fans alike. James practically said, “Hey Magic, go get me Anthony Davis now!”
Making things more interesting, Davis recently bought a house in LA and just signed with James’ Klutch Sports Agency in September.
Risking it all for Davis is a gamble. We don’t know how Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, or Josh Hart will turn out in the next three to four years.
The upside on all of them is high, but none is proven to the degree of Davis. And for that alone, you make the move now if necessary.