The Pelicans have reached an agreement to trade All-Star big man Anthony Davis to the Lakers for guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, forward Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Lakers immediately become championship contenders with Davis joining forces with LeBron James. Davis’ agent Rich Paul, also James’ agent, had tried to steer trade talks toward the Lakers over the winter. But Davis didn’t get his wish at the time. Paul and Davis recently met with the Pelicans’ new top executive, David Griffin, who tried to convince Davis to rescind his trade request. Davis declined and expressed his desire to play long-term for either the Lakers or Knicks.
General manager Rob Pelinka, who has been under fire after criticism from former Lakers president Magic Johnson, pulled off a major coup by winning the Davis sweepstakes over the Knicks and Celtics, among others. Los Angeles gave up plenty in the deal but didn’t have to include another talented big man, Kyle Kuzma.
The Lakers will have either $27.8M or $32.5M in cap room after the deal to pursue a high-level free agent, depending upon timing and Davis’ willingness to waive his $4M trade bonus, ESPN salary-cap expert Bobby Marks notes.