When the Los Angeles Lakers landed the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, most viewed it as an unexpected asset to include in a potential Anthony Davis trade.
And unlike the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans underwent some front office changes where general manager Rob Pelinka and executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin were in charge.
Although Griffin’s priority was to keep Davis, the 26-year-old did not change his stance and the Pelicans eventually began listening to trade offers for him.
With June 20 quickly approaching, the Pelicans traded Davis to the Lakers for their young core and draft picks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Lakers paid a steep price to partner Davis with LeBron James: sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and the picks — including the No. 4 overall selection in Thursday’s NBA draft — to the Pelicans, sources said. The Lakers were able to hold on to forward Kyle Kuzma in the trade, which cannot be finalized until July 6.
Since the Lakers were Davis’ preferred destination, he plans on re-signing with them following the 2019-20 NBA season, according to Wojnarowski:
Davis has long indicated privately that he plans to sign a new contract with the Lakers once he becomes eligible for free agency in 2020, sources said.
In perhaps the most important offseason in team history, there were conflicting reports about their ability to sign a second All-Star player. By trading for Davis, the Lakers could potentially sign a third All-Star player or sign multiple role players.
Despite a drama-filled start to the offseason, the Lakers have slowly recovered. With LeBron James and Davis teaming up, they are serious championship contenders now with uncertainty surrounding the Golden State Warriors.
For the first time in five seasons, the landscape of the NBA is changing and the Lakers are looking to win their first championship since the 2009-10 season.