Last offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers sent a package that included Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans. In return, they received superstar Anthony Davis and a chance to forge one of the top duos in the NBA.
With Davis and LeBron James at the core of their roster, the Lakers quickly became one of the most dominant teams in the association. When play was suspended earlier this year, Los Angeles led the Western Conference with a 49-14 record. If the NBA resumes play for the 2019-20 season, the Lakers will have a legitimate shot at a title.
The problem is that resuming play isn't guaranteed. If the NBA goes straight into the 2020 offseason, Davis could become a free agent, and that could be disastrous for the Lakers.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported in January that the 27-year-old had turned down a contract extension and is expected to decline his player option in the offseason. However, this likely has more to do with Davis maximizing his earnings than potentially leaving Las Angeles.
According to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register, Davis is happy with his current situation:
"By any measure, [keeping Davis] is the top priority of the summer given what the Lakers had to give up to get him. Most in league circles believe that work is largely done—that L.A. is where Davis wanted to be, LeBron James is the teammate he wanted to have, and that the Lakers have done enough to sell him on a future with the franchise."
Davis wanted out of New Orleans because he wanted a shot at winning a title. He has that opportunity in L.A. and alongside James. Jumping ship after just one season—and quite possibly less than that—would make little sense.
Davis should be willing to run with the Lakers until James stops playing at a high level and Los Angeles becomes an also-ran.
Knicks Unlikely to Shop Frank Ntilikina
While Davis is likely to re-sign with Los Angeles in the offseason, it's beginning to look like Frank Ntilikina will be back with the New York Knicks. The 2017 first-round pick hasn't always looked to be a lock for the roster, but he settled into a promising role this season.
The 21-year-old has averaged 6.3 points and 3.0 assists in just under 21 minutes a game this season. His play seems to have improved enough that new team president Leon Rose will be inclined to keep him. The previous regime was willing to move Ntilikina
"If we were talking before the draft last year, I would have said it was about a 75 percent chance that the Knicks traded Ntilikina because other teams said the Knicks were in touch with them about potential Ntilikina deals," SNY's Ian Begley said.
While Ntilikina and other Knicks players will likely be available for the right price, Begley doesn't believe that New York will actively shop him anytime soon.
"I do think that Leon Rose isn't going to be out there shopping Frank Ntilikina as the Knicks had been previously," he said.
Bulls GM Search Continues
Now that Arturas Karnisovas has been officially introduced as the Chicago Bulls' executive vice president, the search for a general manager takes center stage.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls have been granted permission to interview three candidates—Philadelphia 76ers VP of Player Personnel Marc Eversley, Los Angeles Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes and Orlando Magic assistant GM Matt Lloyd:
"Despite speculated interest, the Chicago Bulls have not requested permission from the Miami Heat to contact vice president of basketball development and analytics Shane Battier, an NBA source confirmed to the Sun Sentinel. Battier's name had been floated as a possible option for the Bulls' vacancy at general manager on the staff being formulated by Arturas Karnisovas, who was hired away from the Denver Nuggets last week as Chicago's executive vice president of basketball operations."
Gar Forman was officially let go as Chicago's general manager upon Karnisovas' arrival. The Bulls went 22-60 under his direction last season and currently sits at 22-43.