The Los Angeles Lakers have been the most-watched team in the NBA over the last 3 seasons, mainly because LeBron James decided to take his talents to Los Angeles. Anywhere The King goes, he brings a massive following to the franchise because he has been the most dominant player of his era. After all, King James has won everywhere he has been, whether it was Miami, Cleveland, or eventually Los Angeles.
As the best leader in the game, LeBron affects winning better than any player in the game and that has been the case for a very long time. James was also part of a championship team in the 2020 covid-shortened season, as he forced the Lakers franchise to go into win-now mode by striking a massive deal for Anthony Davis before the season started. The Lakers are renowned for being a franchise that is dedicated to winning at all costs, and with LeBron on the roster, they released all of their future assets for a win-now superstar in Davis.
It worked out in their favor, as Davis and LeBron ran riot in the league and dominated the postseason en route to the 2020 NBA championship. But since then, the Lakers have been average at best. Last year, the Lakers faltered to a first-round exit with Davis exhibiting never-ending injuries and LeBron James finally looking older. Los Angeles did not accept their situation, breaking up their championship core from 2020 in favor of former MVP Russell Westbrook.
Of course, Westbrook has not been a blessing for Los Angeles and might have made the team worse because he does not fit alongside an aging LeBron James. Sitting at the 8th seed with a 22-22 record, the Lakers are at .500 and likely not going to see the playoffs without a play-in victory. Looking back at the two blockbuster deals to bring in Davis and Westbrook, did the Lakers make the right moves by losing all their young stars in an effort to win the 2020 championship? It is time to find out by revisiting the history of the Los Angeles Lakers’ decisions over the past 3 years.
Trade Package for Anthony Davis
Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, De'Andre Hunter, Brandon Ingram, 2021 First-Round Pick (Isaiah Jackson), 2023 First-Round Pick, 2024 First Round Pick, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, Moritz Wagner, 2022 Second-Round Pick For Anthony Davis
July 6, 2019: As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers; the Los Angeles Lakers traded Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, De'Andre Hunter, Brandon Ingram, cash, a 2021 1st round draft pick (Isaiah Jackson was later selected), a 2023 1st round draft pick and a 2024 1st round draft pick to the New Orleans Pelicans; the Los Angeles Lakers traded Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, Moritz Wagner and a 2022 2nd round draft pick to the Washington Wizards; and the Washington Wizards traded cash to the New Orleans Pelicans. (9-30 protected, unprotected in 2022) (2023 first-round pick is right to swap with LAL.) (NOP have the option to defer 2024 first-round pick to 2025.) $1MM $1.1MM