The basketball world, including this site, tends to make hasty trade decisions. However, in most transactions, the two teams are working on different timetables, with someone exchanging long-term value for short-term impact. This summer, we’ll look back at significant NBA moves to how they benefit our assessment of winners and losers. With the third anniversary of the Davis trade coming up, this felt like a good place to start.
About The Anthony Davis Trade:
The Anthony Davis trade situation has been one of the most tumultuous in recent NBA history. In January 2019, his agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he did not want to sign the Pelicans’ supermax agreement and would prefer to be traded. He spent the rest of the season antagonizing New Orleans fans while the team held out for the best. The Pelicans chose not to trade Davis at the deadline, pushing to the offseason and putting pressure on the Lakers to throw. The sale was eventually completed in 2019, and both teams have seen ups and downs in the three years since.
What did the Anthony Davis trade start for the Pelicans and Lakers?
Anthony Davis for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, three first-round picks, and a pick swap. The three-team transaction, with the Lakers sending Isaac Bonga, Mo Wagner, Jemerrio Jones, and a future second-round selection to the Wizards to help free cap space. Many of these parts ended up being involved in later transactions for the Pelicans. In a sign-and-trade that included Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, and a 2024 second-round pick, Lonzo Ball was finally sent to the Chicago Bulls. The Pelicans could send Alexander-Walker, a future first-round choice, because of the parts of those following trades.
What did the Pelicans and Lakers get in exchange for Anthony Davis?
Davis is a more excellent defender, but he’s missed 40 more games than Ingram over the last four seasons, and ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus calculates that they’ve won about the same number of games, 18.60 for Davis and 18.93 for Ingram. And that’s only one of them. Even if LeBron’s finger on the scale provides the Lakers the ultimate advantage, Ball, McCollum, Jones, and Hayes have positively contributed to the Pelicans’ win-loss record during the last three seasons.
The Lakers or the Pelicans won the Anthony Davis trade:
I believe this unique trade can be a win-win. The Lakers won the NBA title. The Pelicans have established a far brighter future, with only the second 50-win season in franchise history possible this year or next. If the Lakers had lost in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, this would have been a win for the Pelicans. But, looking back three years, I believe both teams would gladly make the same move again.