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If you sort every NBA player by the average of their ranks in five catch-all metrics (ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, Jacob Goldstein’s Player Impact Plus-Minus, Box Plus-Minus, Win Shares per 48 Minutes and Game Score per 36 Minutes), Anthony Davis trails only Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In other words, he’s absurdly good. And players of his caliber rarely hit the trade market.
As such, the New Orleans Pelicans are likely drawing interest for the All-Star big man from all over the NBA. But the Los Angeles Lakers’ interest is drawing the most attention, and it isn’t hard to see why.
LeBron James has garnered as much media attention as any NBA player over the last two decades, and pairing him with Davis would instantly make the Lakers a title threat. He’d arguably be the best teammate LeBron’s ever had, with all due respect to Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving.
However, it’s unclear whether the Lakers can make the best offer. Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times recently explained where the two sides are right now:
“With the NBA’s trade deadline approaching, the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans have yet to discuss the offers the Lakers made for six-time All-Star forward Anthony Davis, but that conversation is expected to take place next week.
“The Pelicans are considering making a counter offer that would ask for two first-round picks and add a Pelicans player to the deal, according to people with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
“The Lakers sent five offers to the Pelicans on Wednesday. One of the options offered Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and a first-round pick, multiple sources said.
“The Pelicans have not responded to the Lakers’ initial offers.”
Even if the Pelicans insist on three or four members of the Lakers’ young core and two first-round picks, L.A. should jump on the opportunity to add Davis.
Playing hardball in this situation doesn’t behoove the Lakers. The Pelicans have serious incentive to table Davis trade talks until this summer, when the Boston Celtics can join the fray and they know who has the No. 1 pick.
Yes, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma all have plenty of untapped potential. Yes, the draft can be tantalizing, and plenty of teams have been burned by giving up multiple first-rounders. But what are the odds any of those five players or picks become someone with AD’s generational talent?
B.S. Meter: Low (in the sense that the Lakers want Davis, but high in the sense that they get him this week) .