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Four Anthony Davis Trades for the Lakers to Ponder

AD for KD? What about a swap with the defending champs?

I’m going to be honest with you—is an Anthony Davis trade anything more than a social media fantasy at this point? Probably not. Is that going to stop us from speculating about some fake trades the Lakers should consider? Definitely not! Los Angeles is 3–10 as of this writing, the fourth-worst record in the league, even after AD’s monster, 37-point, 18-rebound effort in a win over the Nets on Sunday. For all the talk of trading Russell Westbrook, it’s possible trading Davis could bring back enough talent to build a coherent roster around LeBron James. (Bron, of course, can’t be traded this season due to the extension he signed over the summer.) And for a team this bad, all options should be on the table.

So if the goal for L.A. is still to actually make use of LeBron’s time, here are a few AD trades that could spice up life in Hollywood.

Lakers get: OG Anunoby, Thaddeus Young, Otto Porter Jr., Precious Achiuwa, future first-round pick

Raptors get: Anthony Davis

I can already feel the hot breath of Raptors Twitter on the back of my neck, yelling at me for giving up two young members of their intriguing core. And I can also sense the wrath of Lakers Photoshoppers who would expect no one less than Scottie Barnes back in exchange for AD. I still think this move could work for both sides. Anunoby has been fantastic so far this season, and he would be the best 3-and-D player the Lakers have had on the roster since LeBron signed. Young and Porter would add much needed depth to the rotation and are also movable contracts. Achiuwa still seems to be a couple of steps away from fully realizing his potential, though his athleticism and shooting could be fun next to James. Only 23 and 25, respectively, Achiuwa and Anunoby would also bring some much-needed youth and potential to Los Angeles.

Don’t sleep on this trade for the Raptors! Toronto can roll out a Fred VanVleetGary Trent Jr.Pascal Siakam–Barnes-AD lineup that sounds sick on paper. While Nick Nurse has leaned into the Raptors’ rangy, athletic style, having a big like Davis should make his life much easier. AD can be a defensive anchor and enjoy much better spacing offensively than he has with Los Angeles. And maybe the key to unlocking Davis’s full potential is not to play him with a ball-dominant superduperstar (with Siakam still there to handle perimeter scoring duties).

Lakers get: Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, two future firsts, two future swaps

Suns get: Anthony Davis

This is really a move the Lakers make only if they are also willing to continue dealing after. Ayton and Crowder can obviously help a title team, but they aren’t enough to lift up this Lakers squad, even if both slot in nicely next to James. (In theory, anyway. In practice, James and Crowder don’t exactly seem to be buddies.) With this fake move, Los Angeles creates a tiny bit of depth, and then the front office can flip the Phoenix picks in a separate deal to bring back more players. Could Ayton, Crowder, plus whatever the Lakers could get back for Phoenix firsts, their own firsts and Russell Westbrook be enough to put a good team around James? I’m already talking myself into it.

I think the Suns would say yes to this immediately, by the way. They have never seemed sold on Ayton. Crowder is AWOL. And the team hasn’t really mortgaged any future picks. A Paul-Davis or Booker-Davis pick-and-roll would be unstoppable.

Anthony Davis and the Lakers

Should the Lakers trade Anthony Davis for Kevin Durant? 

Lakers get: Kevin Durant

Nets get: Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker IV

#ADforKD has been a fun trade to discuss at various points, particularly in the summer when Durant requested a trade from Brooklyn. One issue that could hold this up is that the Nets have actually been playing well amid their recent controversies, putting together their best stretch of the season since suspending Kyrie Irving. Despite the recent success, Brooklyn may be one more swoon away from considering this trade. If the Nets go in the tank again, trading Durant would help to begin to cleanse the drama hovering over this organization. Acquiring Davis would allow Brooklyn to still contend while figuring out what to do with Irving and Ben Simmons. Davis would be the featured player with the Nets and could maintain his star persona in a big market.

The Lakers would still need to do some dealing after acquiring Durant because of the roster’s poor construction. His shooting would be incredibly welcome, though. And if the oft-rumored Westbrook-to-Indiana trade followed soon after, doesn’t Buddy Hield–LeBron-KD–Myles Turner sound mildly exciting? It would definitely be an improvement over 3–10.

Lakers get: Draymond Green, James Wiseman, Donte DiVincenzo

Warriors get: Anthony Davis

Los Angeles probably won’t do this, considering how rough Wiseman’s start to the season has been. And Draymond has been one of the better Warriors so far this year. However, with both teams struggling through the first month of the season, if those struggles continue, I could see each side talking themselves into this move. Golden State gets an actual star who could help now and possibly slightly extend their contention window. Green gets to join forces with James, and the Lakers also add a No. 2 pick and veteran role player. Both teams don’t necessarily solve their issues with this move, but it could provide a jolt if neither can work through their first-month malaise. 

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