Report: Anthony Davis Traded to Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, More

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 15, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis during the second half of the NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

In a blockbuster deal, the New Orleans Pelicans reportedly agreed to trade All-Star Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported details of the move sending the 26-year-old to the Lakers, noting the Pelicans will receive Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. "The deal will be completed on July 6, sources said," per Wojnarowski.

ESPN.com's Tim Bontemps provided a breakdown of the Pelicans' complete draft-pick haul:

The New York Times' Marc Stein reported the Lakers will now target Kemba Walker after reaching an agreement for Davis. Stein also reported the Boston Celtics refused to include Jayson Tatum in trade talks centered around Davis.

Things seemed to fall apart quickly for Davis and the Pelicans last season. The franchise was coming off the high of its first playoff series win since 2007-08 by sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.

It was a modest success, but it appeared to be a sign of improvement. The 2018-19 campaign was a dramatic reversal for the franchise. After a 4-0 start, New Orleans went 29-49 the rest of the season.

Per Wojnarowski, Davis' agent, Rich Paul, informed the Pelicans in January his client wouldn't sign an extension with the team and has asked for a trade.

Davis is under contract for one more season at $27.1 million with a player option for 2020-21, although Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Davis plans to hit the open market:

According to Wojnarowski, Davis "has long planned to sign a new contract with the Lakers once he becomes eligible for free agency in 2020."

New Orleans hired David Griffin as executive vice president of basketball operations in April, and he maintained a desire to keep the Kentucky product and build around his All-Star big man.

"I'm extremely optimistic relative to the opportunity that lies ahead of us in the form of Anthony Davis," Griffin told reporters in April.

Things bounced in the Pelicans' favor when they won the NBA draft lottery to secure the No. 1 overall pick, giving them the opportunity to select Zion Williamson.

Despite the possibility of adding a potential superstar, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Davis' stance on wanting to be traded didn't change.

On June 4, Charania reported Griffin had begun taking calls from teams interested in putting together a package for Davis.

The Pelicans were stuck between a rock and hard place with their franchise player, and Griffin ultimately made the deal he believes will be in the best long-term interest of the team.

The Lakers positioned themselves to make a big splash during the offseason last year when they cleared enough cap space to add a second max salary next to LeBron James.

Even with an enticing group of potential free agents to pick from, including Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, they were able to pull off their greatest coup by acquiring Davis.

Davis is at an age where he will be able to shoulder a heavy load. James, for all his natural talent and physical gifts, will start to slow down as he prepares to turn 35 in December.

After a notable offseason that started with Magic Johnson's surprise resignation as president of basketball operations and was followed by the long search for a head coach that eventually ended with Frank Vogel taking over, the team needed something big to happen.

Even in a loaded Western Conference, the Lakers can put themselves near or at the top with Davis on board.

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