The Los Angeles Lakers are offering everything as they try to complete a trade for Anthony Davis with the New Orleans Pelicans, as according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, their offer includes Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and the No. 4 pick:
The Lakers have made Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and the No. 4 pick in the June 20 draft available in trade talks with the Pelicans, league sources say. New Orleans has made it known it hope to assemble a three-teams-or-more deal before surrendering Anthony Davis— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 12, 2019
Obviously Lakers fans would hate to see both Ingram and Ball go, but in trading both of them, Los Angeles would theoretically get to keep some combination of Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga and still have room to sign an All-Star free agent like Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler. They are evidently doing their best to keep Kuzma, at least.
It’s likely Ball and Ingram will end up being the best of the players the Lakers have drafted over the past few years, but Hart and Kuzma are on cost-controlled contracts for the next two seasons and showed they can play alongside LeBron James this past season. That has value.
For context, the three-man lineup of James, Hart and Kuzma had a net rating of +9.3 while the three-man lineup of James, Ball and Ingram had a net rating of +3.7. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, but it makes sense considering neither Ball or Ingram are high volume or efficient 3-point shooters.
As negotiations carry on, the Lakers may be able to keep Ball, Ingram or the No. 4 pick, but right now it’s looking like they’ll have to part with all three to get Davis in Los Angeles. It’s a steep price to pay, for sure, but a necessary one if they want to pair James with Davis and another superstar this summer.
As Samuel L. Jackson once said: Hold on to your butts.