This Hornets-Lakers Trade Sends Anthony Davis To Charlotte

nbaanalysis.net 40 days ago
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

This offseason is an important one for the Los Angeles Lakers. After struggling as much as they did during the 2021-22 NBA season, the front office is under pressure to bring in some new talent to help get the team back on track.

The Lakers seem okay with bringing back their Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook despite the results last season showing that very well could be a bad idea. Los Angeles went 33-49 last season, falling well short of expectations coming into the season as they were considered title favorites.

Trading Westbrook is something that many people believe the Lakers should do as his skill set doesn’t mesh well with James and Davis. However, trading him is easier said than done as his contract is humongous. Westbrook’s option for the 2022-23 season was $47.1 million, a total not many teams can take on or would be willing to accept.

If Los Angeles wants to really shake things up this offseason, they may have more success shopping one of the other Big 3 members, such as Davis. While the Lakers wouldn’t receive as much for him as they traded to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire, they can still recoup a good amount of assets.

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Plenty of teams would submit offers for Davis should he ever be put on the trade block. One team that would likely pursue him is the Charlotte Hornets.

What could a deal between the Lakers and Hornets look like? Let’s take a look at this hypothetical trade that results in Anthony Davis landing in Buzz City.

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network
Charlotte Hornets Receive: F/C Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: F Kelly Oubre Jr., G Terry Rozier, F/C P.J. Washington, 2023 First-Round Pick (via DEN), 2024 First-Round Swap, 2025 First-Round Pick

This trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets would be the latest blockbuster of the offseason. It could very well not be the last either, as multiple All-Stars have been mentioned as potential trade candidates.

In this deal, the Hornets address their biggest need, which comes in the middle at the center spot. They have been looking for an upgrade and find one in Davis, who could pair with Mason Plumlee should Steve Clifford want to pair a center with AD.

To land him, the Hornets have to pay a relatively steep price. While this isn’t as expensive as it was for the Lakers to land him, it will still cost a pretty penny. For starters, they are sending two picks to the Lakers in 2023 and 2025. In between those two years, the Lakers will have the right to swap draft picks should they choose to.

The player package heading back to Los Angeles also helps replenish the rotation for Darvin Ham. Kelly Oubre Jr. helps bolster the wing, where they have focused some of their efforts in free agency. Terry Rozier provides an upgrade in the backcourt either as a replacement for Russell Westbrook or as his running mate.

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P.J. Washington is an intriguing acquisition for Los Angeles, as he is eligible for an extension this offseason. He has improved each season in the NBA and is a solid fit alongside James as a stretch big and improving defender.

How does this deal impact each team? Let’s take a look at it from both of their perspectives, starting with the Hornets. 

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

How This Trade Impacts Charlotte Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets have made some strides in recent years, as they increased their win total by 10 this past season compared to the 2020-21 campaign. However, that was not enough to help save James Borrego’s job, as he was fired as head coach. It looked as if Kenny Atkinson was going to take his place, but he changed his mind at the last minute and they hired a familiar face in Steve Clifford.

One of the things that Clifford will be tasked with is helping the Hornets get things figured out on defense. They have a high-flying offense, but if you cannot stop your opponent from scoring, it is going to be difficult to win games.

Anthony Davis would certainly help the Hornets on that end of the court as he is one of the best defenders in the NBA. He is as effective as a rim protector as he is on the perimeter, as he can slow down some wings and guards as well in certain situations.

Acquiring him would help raise Charlotte’s ceiling and legitimize their ascension. But, to acquire him, will be pretty costly. P.J. Washington has been involved in trade rumors for a few months and Terry Rozier is someone the team has considered moving as they need to slash some long-term salary. Kelly Oubre Jr. is on an expiring deal and helps match salary.

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While all of those guys are solid rotation players, the first-round picks are likely what will be cause for pause from the Hornets’ perspective. But, to acquire good players you are going to have to part with something of value.

Terry Rozier, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

How This Trade Impacts Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have to get creative when it comes to adding talent to the roster this offseason. While their free-agent signings have been solid based on what they had to spend, if they want to make a sizable change, it will have to come via trade.

The Lakers have been trying to trade Russell Westbrook, but there is only so much they will get back for him. Their hesitancy to include draft compensation as a sweetener along with Westbrook makes finding a trade partner difficult as well.

Desperate to make a change, the front office decides to trade Anthony Davis. In any deal for Davis, Los Angeles would be looking for players that can help them win right now and draft picks to restock their cupboard. In this deal with the Charlotte Hornets, that is exactly what occurs.

The Lakers receive a nice upgrade in the backcourt with the addition of Terry Rozier. Rozier is a solid two-way player in the backcourt that can initiate some offense and knock down 3-pointers on offense. On defense, he certainly makes things tough on his opponent, sometimes even picking people up fullcourt for 96 feet.

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P.J. Washington is an excellent fit alongside LeBron James, a floor-spacing big, knocking down 37.5 percent of his 3-point attempts in his career. His sometimes underwhelming rebounding can be compensated by Westbrook, who is one of the best rebounding guards in league history.

Kelly Oubre Jr. is another versatile forward that provides depth and is an upgrade on what the Lakers were trotting out there last season. If he can show more flashes of his performance with the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers would be getting a steal.

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The first-round picks will also prove valuable. Los Angeles will have an opportunity to add some young players to the mix down the road, compensating for all of the first-rounders they have traded away. They could also use the picks to bring in more established talent to upgrade the roster and compete once again as soon as possible,