Lakers Rumors: Updated Trade Buzz After 2019 NBA Draft Lottery

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2019

Anthony Davis and LeBron James
Anthony Davis and LeBron JamesChris Elise/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2019 NBA draft lottery hoping for good fortune, and the ping-pong balls settled with the franchise owning the fourth overall pick of the first round.

Suddenly, the team's best possible trade package for disgruntled New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis looks a lot better.

But is it enough?

That's the biggest question for Los Angeles, which has a little over a month to explore possible trades for the 26-year-old.

If those discussions fall through, the Lakers may shift their attention elsewhere. But until he has an official new homeor if the Pels drafting Zion Williamson convinces him to stayDavis is priority No. 1.


Jolt to Anthony Davis Sweepstakes

At the trade deadline, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and two first-round selections highlighted a trade offer the Lakers sent to the Pelicans for Davis. Clearly, it wasn't enough.

But the primary difference between then and now is Los Angeles' top 2019 pick was likely a late-lottery position. While valuable, that's nowhere close to the appeal of the fourth choice. This time, New Orleans will take the conversations more seriously.

"This is a powerful asset for us," Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said, per Ohm Youngmusik of ESPN. "... What this does is it gives us the ability to either select an impact player at [No.] 4 or possibly use this as an extremely valuable asset in trade."

So, the Lakers are expected to examine every possibility to pair the All-Pro talent with LeBron James.

After all, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Davis is sticking to his trade demand. But now that the Pelicans will have an opportunity to add Williamson, the New Orleans front office will focus on re-recruiting Davis.

Benjy Sarlin @BenjySarlin

Not trading Anthony Davis, destroying the Lakers season by leaking all the offers, winning the Zion lottery over the Lakers, then convincing Anthony Davis to stay with Zion instead of go to the Lakers would be the most baller sequence of all time

"It'll give him reason to pause now," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said, per Bleacher Report's Ken Berger.

At the very leastdespite the stronger likelihood Davis will be traded this offseasonit's concerning for the Lakers.

And hugely entertaining for the rest of us.


Backup Plan Bradley Beal?

Davis remains on the Pelicans roster because the team intentionally slow-played the Lakers at the trade deadline. That choice allowed New Orleans to engineer a summer bidding war.

Los Angeles is simply one of the teams interested in Davis.

What if the Boston Celtics package Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown? Or the New York Knicks offer Kevin Knox and the No. 3 pickwhich may allow Williamson and Duke teammate R.J. Barrett to stay together at the next level?

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

LeBron's presence on the roster means the Lakers are in win-now mode. There is no alternative. If Davis goes elsewhere, Los Angeles will pursue other available All-Stars, such as Bradley Beal.

Brad Botkin of CBS Sports and B/R's Grant Hughes both connected the Washington Wizards guard to the Lakers.

Washington has a clogged cap sheetmostly because of John Wall's immovable contract extensionand a mediocre roster. The Wizards might decide to embrace a rebuild, and that requires trading Beal.

Since the Wiz don't need to move Beal, they'd operate from a positive of leverage. Washington would likely demand Brandon Ingram along with the Lakers' first-round selection. He averaged 18.3 points and three assists during his age-21 season.

Ingram is a talented, young, promising player, but Los Angeles may prioritize Beal's elite offense because he provides a better chance to win right now.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.


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