The Los Angeles Lakers immediately find themselves back in title contention by acquiring superstar forward Anthony Davis and with a little help from the Warriors injuries of course. Many Laker fans are left wondering if they paid too much. Assuming that Anthony Davis would be a free agent in 2020 and had his eyes on the Lakers as a prized destination, the Lakers could have waited and not given up anyone for him next summer.
They would then have the right to re-sign all of their own players and go over the cap while doing it. Taking this route would have made the 2020-2021 season’s Lakers starters look like Lonzo, Ingram, James, Kuzma, Davis. Unfortunately, that is just fantasy and Laker fans are left to wonder, “What If.”
In the trade, the Lakers sent away Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three future first-round draft picks, including this years number four draft pick to the New Orleans Pelicans. ESPN Los Angeles put out a poll asking which player fans would prefer to keep and the results came back 34% Ingram, 33% Lonzo, 31% Kuzma, so there are some fans who are okay with this trade as they got to keep Kyle Kuzma. Others aren’t so happy, A lot of fans feel like the organization is giving up on Ingram too soon who many feel has the potential of becoming Kevin Durant type player.
Some fans really like the way Lonzo plays the point guard position and although they are happy to see his dad go, they wanted to see what he could do wearing Nike’s instead of his Big Baller Brand shoes and having Jason Kidd part of the Lakers staff to help mentor and guide him.
Unfortunately for those people who are fans of keeping Lonzo and Ingram, you will have to watch their career develop on another team. The Lakers roster is very interesting right now with the four main players being Lebron, Davis, Kuzma, and Wagner. The bright side is, keeping Kuzma opens the doors for so many more dominoes to fall. The Lakers can trade him to another team looking for cap space for a valuable asset (Washington Wizards Bradley Beal) a move like that would help anchor a now, nonexistent backcourt.
They could wait and see if signing another big free agent (Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, or Kemba Walker) is possible, which isn’t likely because one of those players would have to agree to take less money and the Lakers would have to completely clear their cap room to sign them. They would be left with only Veteran Minimum & Mid-Level Exemptions (deals that can be made, that can go over cap limits) players to fill out their roster.
The Lakers could sign Nikola Vucevic and have around $8 million to use on a couple other players, or they could take the whole $25 million of cap space they have left right now and sign key role players to support Lebron & A.D. like Seth Curry, Harrison Barnes, Eric Bledsoe, Wayne Ellington, or Kenneth Faried.
This much is true, for the first time since the Kobe Era has passed the Lakers are poised to make a deep playoff push. Hopefully, Rob Pelinka and the rest of the front office make the right choices to get them there.