Anthony Davis deal backed
The Los Angeles Lakers have what it takes to trade for Anthony Davis if Brandon Ingram fulfils his potential this season.
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That’s the opinion of ESPN pundit Max Kellerman.
Get More Sports reporter Chris Sheridan claimed that Davis is considering the Lakers among four teams, as well as the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.
It is reported that Davis’ future will be decided by how well the Pelicans do in the first half of the new season and that if they are not competing at the top end of the Western Conference, the five-time All-Star could request a trade.
Davis is under contract for two more seasons in New Orleans and has a player option for 2020-21, with the Pelicans likely to require a handsome package in return for parting with their star man – widely regarded one of the league’s best players.
But Kellerman told ESPN programme First Take that it is a possibility.
He declared: “Yes, the Lakers have enough to get Anthony Davis I believe. We have to see how the season pans out. If Brandon Ingram had a catastrophic injury and Lonzo Ball doesn’t develop at all, obviously your assets aren’t what you think they are.
“But if this trajectory holds true for Ingram, that’s an All-Star player. He’s exceptionally young and has the potential to be an All-Star two-way player.
“He starts hitting the three eventually and then what doesn’t he do? Defend, pass the ball, he can run the point at his height, slash, get to the rim, the whole thing.
“He’s their crown jewel of all the draft picks but, and [Kyle] Kuzma can really shoot the ball and if Lonzo develops, there’s literally no price too high to pay for Anthony Davis if you’re the Lakers because he’s already the main competition for Tim Duncan in terms of the greatest power forward who ever lived.
“His peak is already better than Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett and these are some of the greatest players who ever lived.
“Did any of those guys achieve the overall ability that Anthony Davis has already achieved? I would say no. When you have an all-time player like that in his prime, what price is too high to pay even if they say they want Ingram, Kuzma and another player.
“What package will be put together that’s better than a package centered on say, Brandon Ingram? You have to look around, if no other team can put together a better package or is willing to – then that’s the one that is going to do it.”
LeBron lure will pay off – Scott
Lakers icon Byron Scott is confident that the lure of playing with four-time MVP LeBron James will allow the team to put another superstar alongside him in the purple and gold.
The 2019 free agency class is expected to be packed with high-profile options including Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard.
The Lakers seemingly pinned their hopes on landing Leonard next year after allowing him to go to the Toronto Raptors, having been unwilling to part with assets to take him from the San Antonio Spurs.
And they were ultimately left having to go into the upcoming season with James as the only current All-Star on the team, giving them a big challenge to challenge in the Western Conference alongside the likes of back-to-back champions the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
But Scott – a three-time NBA champion with the Lakers in their Showtime era of the 1980s who was also the team’s coach in 2014-15 and 2015-16 – believes James is similar to the legendary Magic Johnson and that as a result, the Lakers can add big pieces around him to strengthen their hopes of championship contention in years to come.
Scott told The Jump on ESPN: “Absolutely [they can sign a big-name free agent]. When I look at LeBron, I think of Magic Johnson. Guys are saying, ‘In this league, it’s difficult to play with LeBron’. Why? How?
“He makes everybody better. He’s a willing passer, he’s all about the time. Magic Johnson, same thing.
“Do I think he can attract a guy? Absolutely. I think there’s a free agent superstar that’s looking at this team and is going to keep their eye on this team the whole season to see how they’re doing and see if they can be that final piece to the puzzle to get them to the point where they can challenge Golden State next year.
“I do think without a shadow of a doubt that he can attract another superstar to this Los Angeles team.”