Proposed Lakers Trade Sends Anthony Davis to Celtics in $562 Million Player Swap

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, the Boston Celtics were rumored to be waiting out his availability.

His father even said that he didn’t want his son to play for the Celtics. But a new trade proposal from Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report would see the Celtics and Lakers come to an agreement on a deal sending Davis to Beantown.

“After signing a (historic) max extension this offseason, Davis, 30, can’t be dealt during the upcoming campaign,” Buckley wrote on August 30. “But if both L.A. and Boston fall short of expectations this season, maybe the storied rivals could come together on a blockbuster swap next summer.”

Buckley’s proposal would swap up to $561.9 million in total salaries with incentives.

Lakers get:

Jaylen Brown
Robert Williams

Celtics get:

– Anthony Davis

“It’s possible Brown, 26, never reaches the level of stardom Davis has already hit—hence the inclusion of Williams, a dominant defender with his own injury issues,” Buckley continued. “But the former is younger and more durable.”

Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams in 2022-23

Brown set new career highs averaging 26.6 points and 6.9 rebounds while tying his career high with 3.5 assists per game last season.

He signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $303.7 million in July after earning All-NBA honors last season, and he is owed $28.5 million in 2023-24, per Spotrac, potentially bringing his total cost to $332.2 million over the next six seasons. That is over $62 million more than the $270 million that Davis could cost, though Brown’s deal runs one year longer, through 2028-29.

Williams, 25, is going into the second year of a four-year contract and will have up to $28.9 million owed to him by the time this deal could go through.

The sixth-year big man averaged 8.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.4 blocks last season but his efficacy has been limited by his availability to begin his career. He made 35 appearances this past regular season and his career-high mark of 61 games was set in 2021-22.

Davis’ availability has not been much better due to injuries. He made 56 appearances last season and has made no more than 62 since the 2017-18 campaign.

But the Lakers star certainly comes with greater things expected of him.

MVP Expectations for Anthony Davis

That is a sizeable return for Davis, who is an eight-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA and All-Defensive selections, and an NBA champion. And Davis enters the season amid heightened expectations from the outside amid analyst predictions that he could contend for MVP and/or Defensive Player of the Year.

“I’m expecting Anthony Davis to win MVP in these next two years or so, real s***,” Hall of Fame big man Kevin Garnett said on Showtime Basketball’s “Ticket & The Truth” on August 14. “If not this year, definitely next year, straight up.”

Davis would be the Lakers’ first MVP since Kobe Bryant in 2008 and the first Defensive Player of the Year since Michael Cooper in 1987.

He won’t be able to win either if he’s not on the floor

Starting next season, players must make at least 65 appearances to qualify for season awards, per the NBA’s new CBA. There will be certain exceptions made for season-ending injuries and close-call situations where a player fell just short but availability will be key for Davis or any player looking to take home the league’s highest honors.

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