Before the blockbuster deal between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans became official last summer, all-star center Anthony Davis informed all interested teams that he’s planning to test the free agency market in the summer of 2020. Though he currently shares the same agent as Lakers teammate LeBron James, anything could happen once Davis declines his player option and becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
According to Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report, in the “unlikely event” that Davis decides to sign with another team in the 2020 NBA free agency, the Lakers could be forced to trade James and undergo a rebuilding process. If the Lakers do make James available on the trade market, Ellis believes that the Brooklyn Nets would be in a strong position to acquire him this summer.
“If they did go that route, the Brooklyn Nets could put together an appealing package. Kyrie Irving has patched up his relationship with James, and the two already proved they could win a championship together in 2015-16. If Kevin Durant returns to form after tearing his Achilles during the 2019 NBA Finals, the Nets would boast the league’s best Big Three by far (if not one of the best in history).”
In fact, if Davis takes his talent somewhere else this summer, it might be best for James and the Lakers to head in different directions. Joining forces with Irving and Durant would give James a realistic chance of winning more NBA championship titles before he officially retires. While James may be on the downside of his NBA career, he would still be an incredible addition to the Nets, giving them the third superstar that they have been looking for since the 2019 NBA offseason.
James may have spent most of his NBA career as the “guy” of a team but when Davis first arrived in Los Angeles, he has already expressed his willingness to accept the role as a second fiddle. To bring James to Brooklyn, the Nets should be ready to sacrifice plenty of valuable trade assets. In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Nets would be sending a trade package that includes Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, the Philadelphia 76ers 2020 first-round pick, and their own 2022 first-round pick to the Lakers in exchange for James.
Acquiring all those assets in exchange for James would undeniably help the Lakers speed up the rebuilding process. Dinwiddie, LeVert, and Allen would form the new Lakers’ core with Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso, while the 2020 first-round pick would enable them to boost their second unit. If James, Irving, and Durant “imploded,” Ellis believes that the Nets’ 2022 first-round pick could turn into a “premium asset” that the Lakers could use to add another young and promising talent or as a trade chip to further improve their roster.