Monday, September 26, 2022

Proposed Trade Lands Lakers $26M Star and Defensive Player of the Year for Anthony Davis

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The inability of Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis to stay healthy has led some people in the NBA to think the Lakers should trade in the talented All-Star.

Davis, who signed a five-year, $190 million contract with the Lakers in December 2020, has only played 76 games in the past two seasons due to injuries.

To win a second championship with LeBron James, the Lakers need a talented winger and someone who can play a strong full-back, and coincidentally the Boston Celtics have both of those players. Under CBA rules, the Lakers could trade Davis to the Celtics for Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.

Brown averaged 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Celtics last season, who lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals. The former All-Star shot 47.3% from the field, 35.8% from beyond the arc, and 75.8% from the free throw line.

Smart, meanwhile, averaged 12.1 points, 3.8 boards, and 5.9 assists while shooting 41.8% overall, 33.1% from 3-point land, and 79.3% from the charity streak. The 28-year-old became the first guard since Hall of Famer Gary Payton to win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

If the Lakers trade Davis to the Celtics for Brown and Smart, new head coach Darvin Ham could throw a starting lineup of Russell Westbrook, Smart, Brown, James and Thomas Bryant and have Patrick Beverley, Dennis Schroder, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Kendrick Nunn, Lonnie Walker IV, Damian Jones, Troy Brown Jr. and Austin Reaves lead the bench.

Davis is one of the best players in the NBA. He has career averages of 23.8 points and 10.2 rebounds and was named one of the top 75 players of all time last season.

However, the Chicago native does not appear to be staying healthy.

Davis appeared in just 40 games in 2021-22. He missed 17 straight games from late December through late January after sustaining an MCL sprain in his left knee against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then in mid-February, Davis suffered a right foot injury against the Utah Jazz, causing him to miss 18 straight games.

Davis has averaged 24.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.1 blocks in 138 regular-season games with the Lakers, but he hasn’t proven that he can be relied on for an entire season stay healthy.

James will turn 38 in December and the 2022-23 season will be his 20th season in the NBA. Meanwhile, Davis turns 30 in March and has less mileage on his body than James, who has played in 10 finals. The Lakers need Davis, not James, to be their best player if they want to win another championship. However, Davis’ recent track record shows he’s more likely to get injured than carry Los Angeles’ offense.

Therefore, the Purple and Gold should call the Celtics and offer Davis for Brown and Smart. Boston could turn down the offer, but since Brown and Smart were mentioned in Kevin Durant trade rumors, the franchise could be open to moving them for Davis, who averaged 23.2 points and 9.9 rebounds last season.

Brown signed a four-year, $106.3 million rookie contract extension with the Celtics in October 2019. The swingman can sign an extension with Boston starting October 1.

According to an Eastern Conference executive who spoke to Heavy’s Sean Deveney in August, Brown could sign with the Lakers in the summer of 2024 “because he wants to play with LeBron.” Knowing this, the Lakers should keep Davis and try to pair Brown with AD and LBJ.

“Obviously a star comes up when the Lakers have room for the cap and there’s going to be that speculation,” the executive told Deveney. “There are players who want to play for the Lakers because they are the Lakers and they are in LA, but I don’t think Brown is an LA guy in that regard. It’s more because he wants to play with LeBron if LeBron stayed there if Davis stays healthy if they compete back west and not just try to make a play-in. That’s the appeal of everyone in this free-agent class.”

The Lakers will have the space needed to sign a player of Brown’s caliber in the summer of 2024. James and Davis are the only players signed for the 2024/25 season.

The Lakers will have the space needed to sign a player of Brown’s caliber in the summer of 2024. James and Davis are the only players signed for the 2024/25 season.

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