The Greatest Reality Show on Earth, or the Los Angeles Lakers as we know them, is back in the news again. In the latest installment of the seemingly ongoing mini-series, they have acquired the services of former New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis. This came at a hefty price. It feels like they gave away everything including their soul and maybe the rights to sign LeBron’s oldest son when he becomes NBA Draft eligible. To be more precise, exiting LA is Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, and 3-years of 1st round draft choices. The once proud, championship winning organization appears to be in desperation mode after an embarrassing season not only in the win column but off the court as well. The Lakers from top to bottom gave the appearance of a bad episode of Maury instead of professionally run basketball program.
Now, they are attempting to atone for their sins and appease LeBron as well as the fans by employing Davis. I can understand trading Josh Hart. I don’t agree with departing from Brandon Ingram who had one of his best seasons as a pro(18.3ppg) since leaving Duke. To me, he seemed like a star in the making who would eventually pioneer a Lakers’ return to the promised land. However, the decision makers viewed him as expendable. I don’t agree, but I can forcibly live with it. Gone is Lonzo Ball who is not the star that everyone has built him up to be; especially his better suited for the WWE father. I wasn’t impressed with him in college and cringed when LA drafted him so high. However, the bright side is that Lavar is going with him. So, good riddance to his nonsense and meddling. What I feel is detrimental is losing the 1st round draft picks. It reminds me loosely of the time years ago when Mike Ditka was coaching the Saints and he squandered away all of his draft picks to acquire Ricky Williams in the NFL Draft. That risk was far greater than the return it yielded. So, now they can’t draft anyone to replace those departing. I agree not all draft picks pan out, but then again they could have found someone that can be a valuable piece to the rebuilding organization. Who knows, maybe the Lakers could have found some way to snag Zion Williamson. To me the intrigue of joining Zion with LeBron is greater. Then again, LA isn’t exactly developing players right now. They are occupied with their instability and toxicity; most of which is radiating from the front office. So, they very well could waste a talent as great as his. Williamson will be better served with Alvin Gentry; whom he is presumably joining.
So, here Anthony Davis is. There are positives to adding the NBA All-Star. Davis plays with a unique discipline and awareness coupled with an incredibly physicality that he brings to the court. There quite possibly could be Defensive Player of the Year honors in his future. He will also take attention away from LeBron; which will minimize the aging star’s wear and tear. The stress of carrying an entire team and organization will no longer rest solely upon his shoulders. Davis also has the ability to lure opposing big men into foul trouble. According to Cleaning the Glass, since 2014-2015, Davis has ranked at about the 92nd percentile in the percentage of non-shooting fouls he drew per team play. Let’s not forget mention the 25.9 points per game, 12 rebounds per game, and 3.9 assists per game that he is bringing over. In addition, much like LeBron, the stresses of carrying a team by himself are removed. However, the question must be asked, will Anthony Davis want to be the man? Is he willing to step aside and allow LeBron James to be the “alpha” of the Lakers and take a secondary role? Keep a close watch on that along with the cohesiveness of the two star players.
Now, LA is left in dire need of guards. The only guard on their roster with a guaranteed contract for next season is former 2nd round draft pick Isaac Bonga who contributed very little last season. The question is will the Lakers be able to give the contract with the numbers to satisfy Davis and still have cap space to obtain a quality guard? Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker are high profile free agents who will be available. However, can they afford one of those prolific players’ price tag along with that of Davis? There is a distinct possibility that Lakers will be left with a little more than $23 million in salary cap space. So, time will tell just how much LA will be able to do. I’m sure New Orleans is sitting back laughing at this. In my opinion, they are sitting pretty right now. They have 3 1st round draft picks and a possible starting lineup of Jrue Holiday, Zion Williamson (if things go as planned), Brandon Ingram, De’Andre Hunter, and Lonzo Ball. If Julius Randle is healthy and lives up to the hype that many granted him since coming from Kentucky, that is another powerful piece to the puzzle. That’s a dang good lineup any way you look at it.
In summary, I felt the Lakers made a desperation move in an attempt to project themselves into the Finals immediately. It has the feel of a couple in a failing marriage who think if they have a child together, it will automatically lead to “happily ever after”. Adding a big star to the mix without doing away with the drama and toxicity that exists within the organization does not fix things. Now, they have a big star without resolving their issues. Many pundits have propelled the Lakers into the NBA Finals now. I think that is outrageously premature. As I mentioned above, they need to find a solid guard and good role players to add solid depth to the team. If they don’t take care of this and the existing turmoil, barring a miracle provide by Dr. Phil, this could spell disaster.
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports.