Los Angeles Lakers: How would they be if they hadn’t traded for Anthony Davis?

(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images /

The Young Core’s Performance this Year

Brandon Ingram, at the tender age of 22, earned his first All-Star nod this season. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have been named an All-Star. A slew of injuries to perennial All-Stars like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson led to Ingram’s inclusion in the most star-studded game of the year. That isn’t to say he hasn’t improved or that’s he not playing well. He’s averaging 25 PPG, 6 RPG, and 4 APG while upping his 3-point percentage to .392.

He’s already a great offensive player. He would have thrived this season next to LeBron James, Avery Bradley, Danny Green, and JaVale McGee. With Ingram in tow, the Lakers starting unit would have scored with ease.

Ingram’s defense is another story. He’s always been a mixed bag on the less glamorous side of the ball. Last season he took pride in locking up smaller wings on the perimeter, but he still got bullied close to the basket by pretty much everyone. This year, his defensive pride is gone. Almost all of his individual defensive metrics have gotten worse.

Lonzo Ball’s been a revelation this season. He’s averaging 12 PPG, 6 RPG, and 7 APG. Those numbers are impressive, especially considering he’s only played 153 total games in his career, less than two full seasons. What’s even more exciting is Ball’s three-point shooting. He changed his stroke over the summer, and it’s paying off. This year he’s connecting on 38 percent of his shots from deep.

Lonzo Ball’s stopped playing in those ridiculous BBB shoes, and his confidence is slowing creeping back. If he were still on the Lakers, he’d be the secondary playmaker that the Purple and Gold have coveted all year. Lonzo would have helped the second unit purr.

Josh Hart is averaging 10 PPG and 6 RPG while shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc. Hart is the kind of athlete who’s going to be in the league for a long time. He’s a gritty 3-and-D player who knows his role and never steps out of it.

Unfortunately, this version of the Lakers would have been stocked full of better wing options like Danny Green, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Kyle Kuzma. Josh Hart would have seen limited action with the Lakers this season.