The Los Angeles Lakers continue to make a big trade push for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis. After Davis requested a trade, speculation and rumors began to run wild. The immediate chatter had Davis landing with the Lakers, which has been the belief for some time now, as the team is all-in on adding a second star next to LeBron James. But Los Angeles has plenty of competition, making the final days of the trade deadline crucial to monitor.
But due to the (understandable) lofty asking price, the Lakers and their front office have a lot to weigh. How much will they give up for the Pelicans star? Are they willing to risk waiting for the offseason and allowing the Boston Celtics to get into the mix? What will happen with Lonzo Ball?
The final part of that is what stands out quite a bit at this moment, as Ball’s camp made an interesting request shortly after the Davis trade talks began. As The Athletic’s Shams Charania cited, the player’s side would prefer Ball to move to a third team who doesn’t have an established point guard.
Beyond that, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk detailed that LaVar Ball wants his son to land with the Phoenix Suns and will “speak it into existence.”
Whether that pans out remains to be seen, but it’s going to be a situation to monitor regardless.
And this is where the Derrick Rose conversation begins. While the Pelicans have pushed back and Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported the team views Ball as their starting point guard, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. New Orleans reportedly thinks the second-year guard is a player who “could become a star,” per Ganguli, but they would be wise to avoid bringing in Ball if he has no interest in being there.
If this does turn into a situation where it’s a three-team deal with the Lakers and Pelicans for Davis, that’s where things get interesting.
Derrick Rose to the Lakers?
Regardless of the direction, the Lakers would opt to go with the point guard position if Ball were traded, they need another player in the mix. Rajon Rondo could still be the starter but adding depth will be key, and rumblings have started that the Lakers could have interest in Derrick Rose, per Basketball Rehab.
The level of trade interest remains a question mark, but the current Minnesota Timberwolves guard who’s in the midst of an impressive career revival could be a name to watch. He’s averaged 18.3 points and 4.7 assists per game this year, good for his best scoring numbers since the 2011-12 season. Rose is also shooting 47.8 percent from the field, which is the second-highest mark of his career.
Assuming the Lakers’ interest is there and it does turn into a three-team trade scenario, let’s look at a deal that could benefit all sides.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis Trade Including Derrick Rose
*Trade created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
*Lakers send two first-round picks to Pelicans, Timberwolves send second-rounder to Pelicans
If there were ever a “blockbuster deal,” I believe this qualifies. It’s an interesting option and as much as I debated not including multiple first-round picks from the Lakers to the Pelicans, I don’t think that’ll be possible. Regardless, with Davis and LeBron on the same team and the Lakers still having a solid core with the ability to add a few inexpensive free agents (Carmelo Anthony), that pick won’t be high.
On the Lakers side, they pick up a point guard who can score and play alongside Davis and James, while still holding Rondo who should thrive next to the two stars. The Jerryd Bayless addition is for depth and the contract was needed in this deal.
The Pelicans accomplish a few things, which include adding young pieces for the future and also acquiring draft picks. There’s talk they want to move Julius Randle and would add a second-round pick for doing so. With Jeff Teague, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma in town beyond this season and the potential to pay Ivica Zubac, New Orleans receives a nice haul.
Finally, the Timberwolves get their point guard of the future in Ball to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns and move three expiring deals, Teague and a second-round pick. They also pick up Randle which is a great addition and immediately bolsters their starting five.