Holy WOJ bomb. Talk about throwing a wrench in everyone's Saturday. According to Woj, the Pelicans are trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks.
First off, the Lakers got their star and as we just saw with the Toronto Raptors winning a championship, YOU ALWAYS TRADE FOR THE STAR. Yes, Lonzo and Ingram are talented players, but AD is a top-5 player in the NBA. This immediately makes the Lakers the favorites to win the title next year with Golden State reeling from the injuries to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, who are both free agents this summer. Even if they both went back to the Warriors, they're looking at lengthy recovery times.
For the Lakers, they not only get Anthony Davis, but they get to keep Kyle Kuzma in the deal, which was reportedly a sticking point in talks. With AD in tow, the question now turns to who the Lakers can attract in free agency to fill out the roster. Point guard is an obvious hole, and according to Marc Stein, the Lakers have made Kemba Walker a top priority target once free agency opens in July. This would give the Lakers a Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kemba Walker. Not bad. Not bad at all. Fill out the roster with some shooting and that is an insane roster for next season.
Let's take a look at some winners and losers from the mega-deal.
Winner: Rich Paul
Man, talk about a week. First, Rich Paul was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and then days later he delivered what Anthony Davis wanted: to play for the Lakers. Rich is running the NBA right now, whether you like it or not.
Loser: LaVar Ball
LaVar was made for Hollywood, so this part of the deal hurts. Maybe the Lakers will draft LaMelo. Btw, LaVar finding out about the deal while watching LaMelo play at the Drew League is something.
Winner: David Griffin
Trading a star is never easy, but David Griffin did a damn good job here. Not only does he get the Pels three very promising young players in Lonzo, Ingram, and Hart, but according to Ramona Shelburne, the Pelicans will have some serious control of Lakers draft picks for years to come. Griff was never in any easy position here, but teaming Zion Williamson with Lonzo and Ingram is a great place to start.
Loser: The Celtics
The Celtics were rumored to be in on an Anthony Davis trade for months, but with the uncertainty of Kyrie Irving's future, Danny Ainge really just couldn't make a deal. It's pretty wild how things have unfolded for the Celtics since the Kyrie trade. A bit of bad luck and some shaky moves have put the franchise in an interesting position. Not going all-in for Kawhi last summer seems like the biggest miss, but hindsight is 20/20.
Winner: Kyle Kuzma
Shoutout to Kuzma, who not only gets to stay in Los Angeles, but is now set to be a key piece on a stacked Lakers team. Life is good for Kuz.
Loser: The Knicks
It didn't seem like the Knicks were ever really in on the Anthony Davis rumors this summer, but man, things could have played out a lot differently for them the past couple of months. From not getting Zion to KD's injury, you now have to wonder where the Knicks go from here.
Winner: LeBron James
This is it. LeBron James is primed to win another title and his first in Los Angeles. Let's admit it, the playoffs missed LeBron. I don't care what anyone says. With AD on the squad, LeBron is set to go on another monster run for a championship. And if there's any silver lining from missing the playoffs this season, it's that Bron should be well-rested going into next season. Get ready.