In return, the Lakers will send Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks, including this year’s No. 4 selection in next week’s draft, to New Orleans.
The Lakers have been pursuing Davis for some time, and obtaining him is a major coup for the franchise. It’s also significant that they kept rising forward Kyle Kuzma out of the deal, leaving them with a stalwart outside shooter that may thrive even more in the inside-outside game the Lakers can now deploy.
New Orleans was asking a steep price for Davis, who can become a free agent after this season, but was said to covet Los Angeles. They can now team the Lakers players with anticipated No. 1 draft choice Zion Williamson in a formidable young lineup.
The 6’10 inch Davis has a lifetime resume that includes 23.7 points per game and 10.5 rebounds. A power forward/center, Davis will team with LeBron James to form a two-superstar tandem that could bring the team back to prominence.
While the Lakers should be eager to add Davis, acquiring him might prevent them from signing a third star in free agency this summer. The team was said to be interested in Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, who just won a championship with the Toronto Raptors and is a Los Angeles native, and small forward/guard Jimmy Butler.
The Lakers have $65.8 million in guaranteed salary on their books for 2019-20. The Davis acquisition means that they may not be able to add much in free agency without some manipulations.
The trade acquisition also is some welcome good news for a Lakers franchise that hasn’t had much of it lately, with upheavals caused by Magic Johnson’s departure and a failure to make the playoffs this year thanks to a wave of injuries.