Proposed Trade Lands Lakers $498 Million Star for Anthony Davis & Lonnie Walker IV

Lakers stars Anthony Davis and Lonnie Walker IV

Getty Lakers stars Anthony Davis and Lonnie Walker IV

In a November 14 column called “Four Anthony Davis Trades for the Lakers to Ponder,” Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni proposed that the Los Angeles Lakers trade Anthony Davis to the Brooklyn Nets.

Nadkarni’s hypothetical trade had the Lakers sending Davis and Lonnie Walker IV to the Nets for two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant.

“#ADforKD has been a fun trade to discuss at various points, particularly in the summer when Durant requested a trade from Brooklyn,” Nadkarni wrote. “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.”

Under CBA rules, the Lakers can trade Davis and Walker IV to the Nets for Durant starting on December 15. December 15 is the first day that free agents who were signed in the offseason can be traded. Walker IV signed with the Lakers in free agency over the summer.

Durant is making $42.9 million this season and will have earned more than $498 million in NBA money when his current contract expires after the 2025-26 campaign. Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report reported on November 16 that NBA executives are monitoring Durant’s temperature in hopes of another trade request. The Nets are 11-11, good for only ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Nadkarni: Lakers Could Get Buddy Hield & Myles Turner After Landing Durant

Nadkarni believes the Lakers could acquire Buddy Hield and Myles Turner from the Indiana Pacers for Russell Westbrook and draft picks after landing Durant from the Nets. Los Angeles could throw out a lineup of Dennis Schroder, Hield, Durant, LeBron James and Myles Turner.

“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,” Nadkarni wrote. “And if the oft-rumored Westbrook-to-Indiana trade followed soon after, doesn’t Buddy Hield–LeBron-KD–Myles Turner sound mildly exciting?”

The Lakers almost acquired Turner and Hield before training camp started. However, vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka decided that giving up the team’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks was too steep a price to pay.

If the Lakers and Nets pulled off a Davis-Durant trade, though, Pelinka could change his mind since a team with Durant and James is only a few pieces away from winning it all.

Davis’ Trade Value Has Gone Up

Davis’ trade value around the league has gone up due to his stellar play this season. The All-Star big man is averaging 26.2 points and 12.8 rebounds while shooting 57.1% from the field.

Davis signed a five-year, $190 million contract with the Lakers in December 2020 after helping the purple and gold win the 2020 championship at the Walt Disney World bubble over the Miami Heat. The deal includes an early termination option in 2024 and will be fully up in 2025.

James and Davis have the same agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Haynes reported that Los Angeles is not considering trading AD, but its stance could change if Durant makes it known behind closed doors that he wants to get traded to the Lakers.

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