Proposed Trade Sends Lakers $99 Million 4-Time All-Star & Former Top-10 Pick

Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers head coach Darvin Ham (left) and GM Rob Pelinka

The Los Angeles Lakers may need to explore a more drastic deal than just moving Russell Westbrook ahead of the trade deadline. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons believes the Lakers could explore trading Anthony Davis.

“I just feel like something’s gonna happen with Davis, it’s the only move,” the analyst remarked on the November 7, 2022 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “If we locked ourselves in a room for like two days and we’re like, ‘What do we do?’ I think we would land on training Davis and I think that’s why there’s a little buzz that he might be gettable.”

Simmons suggested a number of possible trades for the Lakers to explore, while The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor labeled a possible deal with the Warriors as “the most fun” option. The wild trade proposal has Los Angeles receiving Draymond Green and a pair of former lottery picks (Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody) in exchange for Davis as the central part of the deal.

“We forgot to mention this trade: Draymond, Kuminga, Moody and a couple picks for A.D.,” Simmons explained. “…It actually was the one that made me pause the most trying to figure out would the Warriors talk themselves into it? I don’t know if they’d give Kuminga and Moody and the picks, but who knows?

“…At the same time, the vibe on that team has been weird all year, and it’s hard not to blame at least 97% of that on Draymond punching [Jordan] Poole in the face during breakfast. I don’t know, call me crazy.”

The Lakers Are Not Considering Trading Davis: Report

Despite Simmons speculating that the Lakers are looking to move Davis, so far this does not appear to be the case. Davis still has two seasons beyond 2022-23 remaining on his five-year, $189.9 million contract. Bleacher Report’s NBA insider Chris Haynes noted that “the Lakers are not considering trading Davis” adding that any potential deal would need to go through Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul.

“And while it’s been a talking point on social media, the Lakers are not considering trading Davis, according to sources,” Haynes wrote on November 10. “For any dialogue of that nature to occur, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul would have received calls from interested teams inquiring if his client would agree to an extension if they traded for him. Those conversations have not taken place, sources say.”

With the Lakers starting the season 3-10, it will be interesting to see if general manager Rob Pelinka changes his tune in an attempt to salvage this year with LeBron James. Yet, even if there are whispers about a potential Davis deal inside the Lakers building, there is no advantage to making these trade inquiries public and risk alienating both of the team’s superstars.

Kuminga & Moody Were Both Lottery Picks in the 2021 NBA Draft

There are obvious roadblocks that would prevent a potential Davis trade, but the Warriors represent an intriguing option for the Lakers. Kuminga and Moody are both former lottery picks from the 2021 NBA draft with plenty of upside. The Lakers would be banking on one of these players to potentially turn into a star for the post-LeBron era. Kuminga averaged 9.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and .9 assists in 16.9 minutes per game during his rookie season.

Green is a significant step down from Davis in terms of talent but brings with him the experience of being a four-time NBA champion. The veteran is averaging 7.9 points, 6.6 assists and 6.5 rebounds through 13 games this season.