The Los Angeles Lakers made one of the biggest trades in franchise history four years ago when the team traded for Anthony Davis. This made it possible to win the championship in 2020 and has resulted in their being a legitimate title window to root for since.
The Davis trade has aged incredibly well for the Lakers. Superstars continue to go for abhorrent prices while the Lakers have been able to avoid giving New Orleans all the assets of the deal. Not a single fan would take back the AD trade.
Even with how well the trade has aged in retrospect, Los Angeles might have been able to get a better price. Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin explained to SiriusXM recently how all of the chatter around AD — and the Boston Celtics particularly — led to the Pelicans having more leverage than they deserved.
This is exactly the kind of situation the Portland Trail Blazers are looking for with Damian Lillard. Will a Miami rival step up and raise the price like the Celtics did to the Lakers? It certainly is possible.
The Lakers still ended up much better off than the Celtics after the Anthony Davis trade
While Boston increased the price for LA, the Lakers still ended much better off when the dust settled. Sure, the Celtics have a generational superstar in Jayson Tatum and a nice core around him but the team has no championships to show for it. The Lakers do.
Plus, a lot of the assets that the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis didn’t even end up working out. Lonzo Ball left the team and may never play again, Josh Hart left the team and is now in the Big Apple, Brandon Ingram has developed nicely into an all-star but is probably the third-best player on a title team.
The picks haven’t really worked out either. New Orleans traded the fourth overall pick in 2019 for more picks, ending up with Jaxson Hayes at the No. 8 pick. Hayes is now a Laker. The team didn’t even get LA’s 2023 first-round pick as the Pelicans had a worse selection. Now all New Orleans has to hang its hat on is either a first-rounder in 2024 or 2025.
Four years later the Pelicans have Ingram and one more future first that might not even be in the lottery. The Celtics have a core with no title. And the Lakers have a 17th banner hanging from the rafters. Price-raising aside, it turned out pretty well for LA.