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Anthony Davis ‘stands atop’ list of NBA free agent, trade targets for Lakers

The Lakers want Anthony Davis, but everything would have to go right (or depending on how you look at it, wrong) for them to get him.

Sacramento Kings v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Over the course of his six-year NBA career, five-time All-Star Anthony Davis has only played in the postseason twice. If the regular season ended today, he’d be watching the playoffs from the couch once again, as the New Orleans Pelicans currently sit at the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference.

If the Pelicans can’t punch a ticket to the playoffs again this season, Davis might consider forcing a trade away from his current situation, as we’ve seen several NBA stars do over the past few seasons. In the event that happens, expect the Los Angeles Lakers to aggressively pursue the 25-year-old.

According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the Lakers are hoping to pair Davis with LeBron James within the next few years.

The New Orleans Pelicans’ Davis stands atop the Lakers’ list, but he won’t hit free agency until 2020. The Pelicans would have to trade him to Los Angeles, which should be considered a significant stretch unless Davis says he won’t re-sign in New Orleans.

Davis recently joined Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who represents James. A pairing in Los Angeles would give both players the opportunity to unseat the Golden State Warriors, and the 25-year-old Davis would eventually replace the older James (33) as the Lakers’ headliner.

Although they’re in two different stages of their career, James and Davis are both regular names in the MVP conversation, and this season has been no exception. If the Lakers somehow managed to get both of them on the same team, they would arguably be the greatest one-two punch the NBA has seen since Shaq and Kobe.

Unfortunately, there’s no reason to believe that will happen any time soon, unless you consider Jarrett Jack a trusted source.

Davis is under contract with New Orleans for at least two more seasons. Next summer, the Pelicans will be able to offer Davis a “supermax” extension worth $230 million over five years, which would be the largest contract signed in NBA history. Barring something truly catastrophic in the locker room between now and next summer, it’s hard to imagine both parties don’t work something out.

If, for some reason, Davis did want out of New Orleans next summer, there’s no one player outside of LeBron James the Lakers should deem untouchable. There are very few players in the NBA that are worth “selling the farm” for, but Davis is one of them.

That said, while it’s fun to think about two of the most dominant players in the league teaming up, the chances of it happening are highly unlikely. For now, just be thankful that the Lakers finally have one of them again.

You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.