The Los Angeles Lakers finally did it. They traded for Anthony Davis, and all it cost them was Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, a protected 2021 first-round pick, an unprotected pick swap in 2023, and another first-rounder that will convey in 2024 or 2025.
Okay, so maybe it cost them quite a bit to bring Davis to his preferred trade destination and unite him with LeBron James. But for what it’s worth, after various whispers and questions about how happy James is with the state of the Lakers have followed the team around all offseason, he made it pretty clear on Instagram that he’s thrilled with how things have turned out, saying this move is “just the beginning” for the team:
Also happy about the cataclysmic shift that took place on Saturday? Hart and Ingram, the latter of whom posted a smiling emoji on Instagram in the aftermath of the trade, while the former just did his best impression of the same emoji. Phenomenal social synergy from the new Pelicans:
Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram had the same reaction to getting traded. pic.twitter.com/Bsop8d1pld— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma, the last man standing from the Lakers’ young core — unless you, like my fiancee, count Moe Wagner in that group — began summarizing his feelings on social media with what appeared to be a subtle dig at all the people who wanted to see him among the players shipped out for Davis:
Shanghai ✈️ Los Angeles— kuz (@kylekuzma) June 16, 2019
Then, he shared the affect the trade had on his day, while also ingratiating himself with his star, soon-to-be teammate:
Bro I just got mobbed in Shanghai thanks @AntDavis23— kuz (@kylekuzma) June 16, 2019
Finally, Kuz took to Instagram to remember the fallen, who were exiled to the Bayou so the Lakers’ championship dreams might live. Never forget:
We’re going to miss em too @kylekuzma #LakeShow #Lakers #NBA pic.twitter.com/ltUSm8B6Eu— ShowtimeForum (@ShowtimeForum) June 16, 2019
Kuzma’s Instagram activity actually well summarizes the prevailing feeling of the afternoon for the Lakers. This was likely a great day for the team, but fans can be forgiven if it feels a bit, well, bittersweet.
Getting Davis is a coup for the Lakers, who needed a win after taking so many L’s for the last year, but giving up three more young players that the fanbase had emotionally invested in and watched grow after several years of shipping out just about anyone under the age of 25 with any level of talent probably stings a bit, like the burn of vodka before you get the good feeling to come after. Now, it’s up to the Lakers to make sure that benefit eventually comes — starting with taking advantage of their cap space this summer — or all this celebration about an impending superteam is going to leave the fanbase with quite the hangover.
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