Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Shocking Lakers trade offer sees Anthony Davis join forces with MVP nominee

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The Los Angeles Lakers may have ended their losing streak on November 13, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t over the hill just yet.

The simple fact is that the Lakers’ roster is still disjointed and their lack of perimeter shooting and frontcourt depth will continue to be a debilitating factor in their quest for success. Therefore, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz has proposed a deal that would not only solve the Lakers’ current problems but also set them up for the future, but will cost them their star forward Anthony Davis.

The suggested trade looks like this:

Lakers get: John Collins, Onyeka Okongwu, Justin Holiday, a 2023 first-round pick (lottery protected), a 2024 first-round pick (lottery protected, via Sacramento Kings)

Atlanta Hawks received: Anthony Davis

“Collins, 25, should thrive in a bigger role in LA as Lob Threat and floor spacer. He’s a lifetime 37.2 percent shooter from three years and has worked his way up to being a better defender in his sixth year. A former 21.6-points-per-game scorer, he could again put up 20s and 10s a night when playing alongside LeBron James.

An LA-born USC product, Okongwu would become the starting center for the Lakers and has elite defensive potential. For every 36 minutes of play this season, the 21-year-old is averaging 15.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks and making 67.2 percent of his shots,” Swartz wrote in his Nov. 14 article.

The key thing about this trade proposal is that it ensures the Lakers retain their first-round draft picks of 2027 and 2029, which are widely regarded as the team’s best trades, allowing them to remain fluid in their search for potential new starting talent further down the line.

On the surface, Swartz’s trade proposal is fair. Los Angeles would get a down-to-earth forward with the ability to rebound at high levels, an impressive young edge runner known for his defensive advantages, and another ball-handling wing to help the second unit stretch.

However, it is John Collins who would be the headline of this deal for the Lakers. Collins, 25, is a 37% career shooter from the perimeter, with career averages of 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Sure, the Utah native isn’t on Davis’ level, but that’s why Okongwu and Holiday are also part of the deal.

Overall, Collins would ensure the Lakers have a versatile presence playing alongside James, who doesn’t require a high usage rate and is skilled as a screener and off-ball threat, while bringing much-needed quality and youth into the rotation brings in.

Despite Swartz proposing a swap that would see the Lakers pull from Davis, it’s clear the superstar forward is still a generational talent when he’s playing at his best. In the Lakers’ most recent win, a 103-116 win over the Brooklyn Nets, Davis was unstoppable, helping his team with 37 points, 18 rebounds and two assists while shooting 60% from the field.

Speaking to the media after the game, Kevin Durant heaped praise on Davis, declaring that the 29-year-old tall man is one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players.

“AD is having a bad game, I don’t consider it nothing serious because he can come out and do this at any time. So regardless of his LeBron out there, Russ (Westbrook), Jrue Holiday, one of the teammates he’s ever had in his career, this is him. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a bad game or a bad track, he doesn’t care. He’s an all-time great,” Durant told the media.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, they’re currently lacking in significant trading assets outside of their draft picks, so capitalizing on Davis’ current level of performance is probably their best shot at striking a meaningful deal without putting a strain on their future.

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