We weren’t 48 hours clear of the Toronto Raptors win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, when what may go down as the biggest trade of the off-season went down. Anthony Davis is on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers.
We knew the general details of the trade when it was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The New Orleans Pelicans get a pretty big haul, including young stars Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, as well as three first round picks.
The first of those picks will be made next week. The Lakers’ No. 4 overall pick is on his way to New Orleans, though Woj reports that it could be shopped as well.
The other two picks in the Anthony Davis trade come in 2021 and 2024, and the Pelicans are also receiving two pick swaps.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps got the scoop on the rest of the picks involved in this monumental trade:
The Pelicans will get the following picks from the Lakers, league sources tell ESPN:
No. 4 pick in 2019
Top-8 protected in 2021, becomes unprotected in ‘22
Unprotected swap in ‘23
Unprotected first in ‘24
Unprotected swap in ‘25
Tremendous haul for David Griffin & the Pelicans.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 16, 2019
While the trade makes sense for both sides, this makes the deal even better for the Pelicans and LeBron James’ former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin.
The Lakers are moving all of their chips into the middle of the table to try and win titles while James is still an elite NBA player. However, if he retires in the next few years, and the Lakers fall back into the pack in five or six years, the swaps could become very impactful.
We saw how pick swaps wound up burying the Brooklyn Nets after the infamous Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade with the Boston Celtics. Former Nets assistant general manager Bobby Marks made that clear on Twitter.
I just got cold sweats looking at the dreaded two words: pick swaps. Might not mean much now but 2023 and 2025 is a long time from now. Trust me. https://t.co/PDvID6yss2
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 16, 2019
If things strike right for the talented young Pelicans, it could wind up being magnitudes better for the franchise. Still, if Davis stays healthy and LeBron’s game ages gracefully, the Lakers shouldn’t have many regrets here.