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Lakers' Anthony Davis Trade: Good Idea for Mavs or Porzingis Deal 2.0?

Anthony Davis has rediscovered his dominant form for the Los Angeles Lakers in LeBron James' absence. If L.A. is still open to trading him and also values future cap space, perhaps a trade with the Dallas Mavericks could make sense for both parties.

Although the Dallas Mavericks are limited with the draft capital they can include in trades until next summer when – knock on wood – their final pick from the 2019 Kristaps Porzingis trade conveys to the New York Knicks, the want and need for a true second star next to Luka Doncic has grown stronger with Dallas' early-season struggles.

When surveying the NBA's early trade landscape, there's only a few situations where could see the Mavs realistically getting a star-level talent at a discounted cost. Brooklyn Nets controversial point guard Kyrie Irving is one of those situation. However, just because the Mavs could have Irving for cheap doesn't mean they'd be open to taking that kind of PR hit in exchange for any potential reward.

Another situation to keep an eye on is with Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis. Over his last four games, which has coincided with LeBron James' five-game absence, Davis appears to have regained his dominant form from past years. During that span, he's averaging 35.5 points, 18.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.3 steals per game while shooting 62.3 percent from the field and 92 percent from the free-throw line. The Lakers have gone 3-1 in those games as a result.

One could argue that the Lakers might not want to trade Davis if he's playing at such a high level, but the question is, how long will it last? Although Davis has played in 15 of the Lakers' 16 games to start the year, he only played in 76 games combined over the previous two seasons. He's also still owed $40 million in the 2023-24 season and $43 million (player option) in the 2024-25 season.

A trade for Davis could potentially end up being the Kristaps Porzingis experience 2.0 for the Mavs, given that KP was never able to stay healthy during his Dallas stint. Unlike Porzingis, though, Davis has actually been a true co-star on a championship team, and in theory, he's the perfect type of two-way big man you'd want next to Doncic.

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If the Lakers can't turn this season around and decide to pull the plug on Davis' time with the team, perhaps the Mavs can another star to the roster without having to wait for full draft-pick flexibility next summer. Here's what we're thinking:

Mavs receive: Anthony Davis

Lakers receive: Christian Wood, Reggie Bullock, JaVale McGee, Dwight Powell, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks

Although the Lakers would be taking back Bullock and McGee, who are on contract beyond this season, they'd receive $25 million in expiring money in Wood and Powell. Wood has played efficiently for Dallas, although coach Jason Kidd has kept his minutes at 24.6 per game. Ideally, the Mavs would make the Wood experiment work to the point that he'd be willing to sign an extension, but it doesn't seem like they're trending in that direction. Wood would be an effective, less-expensive option for the Lakers to use as a gap-filler for Davis, should they decide to shake things up.

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