Grading every trade Rob Pelinka has made for the Los Angeles Lakers

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Rob Pelinka discusses the upcoming Los Angeles Lakers' season at UCLA Health Training Center on September 20, 2018 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Rob Pelinka discusses the upcoming Los Angeles Lakers' season at UCLA Health Training Center on September 20, 2018 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /
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Anthony Davis Trade
Anthony Davis (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Grading the Lakers’ trades from 2019:

  • 2/6/2019: Traded Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2021 second-round pick (Luka Garza) to the Pistons for Reggie Bullock | GRADE: D

After a sparkling showing during the 2018 Summer League, Svi looked like the latest Lakers draft steal and someone with a great deal of 3&D potential. Despite the hype he built for himself that summer, his legend quickly faded during his rookie year as he just could never fully re-discover the groove that he displayed in Vegas. Prior to the 2019 deadline, he was shipped out as the front office looked for a 3&D option that was more readily available to contribute.

This came in the form of Reggie Bullock, a solid defender on the wing that was shooting just under 39% from beyond the arc with the Pistons prior to the deal. Similar to many other snipers that come to Los Angeles, he ultimately lost his shooting rhythm after the swap and hit just 34% of his treys while donning Purple and Gold that season.

At the conclusion of the campaign, he signed with the New York Knicks. This was a decent attempt by Pelinka, but one that simply did not work out in the end.

  • 2/7/2019: Traded Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Clippers for Mike Muscala | GRADE: F

While Michael Beasley was never going to be a long-term Laker, Ivica Zubac appeared to have a fair shot at becoming the 5-man of the future for the team. Apparently, Pelinka did not see things this way as Zu was sent across the hallway at Staples to the rival Clippers in exchange for floor-spacing Mike Muscala.

If there was one thing that was evident by the two coinciding trades, it was that this was a team that was looking to space the floor around LeBron (which was completely understandable). Just like Bullock, Muscala shot below his career average from 3 during his brief stint with the team. Also just like Bullock, he inevitably signed a deal with a different team in the ensuing free agency period.

  • 6/20/2019: Traded Cash and a 2020 second round-pick (Paul Reed) to the Magic for a 2019 second-round pick (Talen Horton-Tucker) | GRADE: B

At the time of this trade, you could have posed the same commentary as the previously detailed Isaac Bonga trade. However, this one actually turned out to unearth a quality NBA player who has actually shown flashes of future stardom in the league.

THT’s physical build combined with his crafty abilities with the ball in his hands made him quite an exciting prospect, and he even chipped in with a few unforeseen playoff contributions during the 2019-2020 title run. Regardless, Horton-Tucker just never really had an opportunity to spread his (pterodactyl-esque) wings in Los Angeles, and was eventually dealt (in another trade yet to be detailed) for a player that better fit next to LeBron and AD.

  • 7/6/2019 (3 Team Trade): Traded Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, Moritz Wagner, and a 2022 second-round pick (Kennedy Chandler) to the Wizards; Traded Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, the 2019 4th Overall Pick (De’Andre Hunter), a 2022 first-round pick (Dyson Daniels), a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 first-round pick and cash to the Pelicans; Received Anthony Davis from the Pelicans | GRADE: A-

Here it is, the granddaddy of all Pelinka trades so far. Dealing for Anthony Davis was a no-brainer at the time of the deal. This was a team that was now on LeBron’s timeline and did not have time to wait for the baby Lakers to sprout. The deal paid instant dividends, as the team went on to win the NBA championship the following season.

That being said, the return on investment has declined since that championship season as AD has fought through numerous injuries and the front office has compiled multiple personnel follies while trying to surround its stars with the right pieces.

Anthony Davis is a top 10 player in the NBA when he is healthy that any team would die to have. The only problem is, that top-10 player has found himself on the bench without a jersey on for a large proportion of his time with the team.