Door Opens for Lakers’ Anthony Davis Trade If Knicks Pass on RJ Barrett

Lakers Anthony Davis trade Knicks RJ Barrett

Getty NBA draft prospect RJ Barrett

In a perfect world, the Los Angeles Lakers would watch the New York Knicks select anyone not named RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. And this has nothing to do with the idea of Barrett playing for the Lakers, although that would certainly be appealing in its own right.

Instead, the potential for the Lakers to land Barrett at No. 4 could result in the door to trade for Anthony Davis swinging wide open. Sean Deveney of Sporting News was the first to put out the report that the Knicks are considering selecting Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver over Barrett.

“Rumors have even cropped up about the Knicks considering Culver over Barrett with the No. 3 pick. At the least, the Knicks will weigh the option.”

If this were to play out, the Lakers would have the opportunity to put a possible slam-dunk offer on the table for the New Orleans Pelicans. Not only would it feature an impressive haul, but it could also secure the Pelicans’ long-term future.

RJ Barrett’s Impact for Lakers in Anthony Davis Trade

To be clear, Zion Williamson doesn’t appear to have any issue with the idea of playing for the Pelicans, contrary to early popular belief. But that doesn’t mean he’d head there with the intention of playing his entire career in New Orleans. Maybe he would, or maybe that thought hasn’t even crossed his mind yet.

But if the Pelicans were able to acquire Barrett via trade from the Lakers while also picking up additional picks and young prospects, that would have to be appealing for Zion. There’s no denying that Williamson and Barrett were incredibly close during their time together with the Duke Blue Devils, and were spotted together often during the draft lottery and at other points.

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By moving Davis to the Lakers and bringing in a group of players which was already appealing without Barrett, it would likely be an easy decision to make for the Pelicans. Beyond that, the former Duke forward teaming up with his old teammate could offer major appeal to Zion and would be a way to ensure their new stars happiness for the foreseeable future.

The idea of teaming up in the NBA immediately likely hadn’t crossed the mind of either Williamson or Barrett, but it’d be exciting for both if it managed to happen. And should the Lakers put an offer on the table with Barrett which appeals to the Pelicans, that outcome could prove to be a win for both sides.

Lakers’ Current NBA Draft Outlook

The Lakers find themselves in an interesting spot, especially if Barrett winds up landing with the Knicks. Options such as Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver, Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and another Duke freshman in Cam Reddish would all make sense. Regardless of what direction they go with the pick, there does appear to still be a belief that the selection will be moved at some point.

Whether a possible deal involving the No. 4 pick includes the Pelicans and is based around Davis won’t necessarily rely on Barrett being included. That pick holds value regardless of which players are on the board, and any package of players with the Lakers’ 2019 pick and possibly a few future selections, could help get a deal done.

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