5 realistic trade packages the Lakers could pursue for Anthony Davis

Peter Dewey
7 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have not gotten out to the start they were hoping for in the 2022-23 season, going just 2-10 through their first 12 games.

A lot of questions have been raised about the Lakers roster, and rightfully so, as the team ranks dead last in the NBA in offensive rating and 3-point percentage.

At this point, the Lakers don’t have much of a choice if they want to improve the roster. Either the team needs to make a trade, or it simply has to make things work with what it currently has.

There are a few avenues that the Lakers can explore to make a deal. They could attempt to entice a team into trading them a valuable player in exchange for their first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 NBA drafts.

Or, Los Angeles could make a major change and trade big man Anthony Davis. Some Lakers fans probably won’t like the idea that Davis could be on the move, but the reality is that he’s their best trade chip if they want to improve this roster around LeBron James.

After the Lakers won the NBA title in the 2019-20 season, one would have never thought that Davis could ever be on the trade block. However, injuries have derailed his last few seasons, and the Lakers may be better off getting more reliable pieces around James than hoping Davis can return to being one of the best players in basketball and stay healthy for a full season.

It may not be fun for some fans, but there are deals out there if the Lakers do want to deal Davis.

Here are five realistic options for the Lakers to move the eight-time All-Star this season or in the coming offseason:

1. Lakers receive: Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets receive: Davis, Kendrick Nunn, 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), 2029 first-round pick (top 5 protected)

Anthony Davis, Kendrick Nunn and Kevin Durant

If there is a deal Lakers fans may sign up for that involves Davis, this is the one.

Brooklyn weathered the storm of Durant’s trade request this past offseason, but with Kyrie Irving’s future in question and the team off to a slow start, it’s possible Durant puts pressure on the front office again to deal him.

The Nets may not get back a better player than Davis in exchange for Durant, and they’d also get two valuable first-round picks from the Lakers to make it happen.

For Los Angeles, Durant would give the team improved playmaking, outside scoring and a true No. 1 option to play with James. Durant is also under contract for a few more seasons, which would give the Lakers multiple chances to chase a title.

2. Lakers receive: Deandre Ayton, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), 2026 first-round pick (top 5 protected), 2028 first-round pick (top 5 protected)
Phoenix Suns receive: Davis, Nunn

Note: Deandre Ayton can’t be traded until Jan. 15, 2023

Anthony Davis, Deandre Ayton, Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder

While Ayton can’t be traded just yet after signing a new deal with Phoenix in the offseason, it’s possible the team moves on from him after allowing him to reach restricted free agency.

Ayton isn’t as good as Davis, but the Lakers would add two solid wings that can really shoot the 3-ball in Johnson and Crowder. Both of those players would be great fits around James, and Los Angeles would also restore some of its draft capital.

For the Suns, adding Davis to the Chris Paul-Devin Booker duo would give them a better shot of winning the West, provided that Davis stays healthy.

3. Lakers receive: Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington, 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), 2026 first-round pick (top 5 protected), 2028 first-round pick (lottery protected)
Charlotte Hornets receive: Davis, Patrick Beverley

Anthony Davis, Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington and Patrick Beverley

If the Lakers are content with stockpiling future assets to potentially swing another deal, Charlotte is another option for a Davis trade.

In this deal, the Lakers would receive three players that might be able to help improve their offense and shooting tremendously in Hayward, Rozier and Washington. The Hornets’ picks could also be valuable down the line if Davis doesn’t re-sign with the team once his deal is up.

Davis would give the Hornets a true star to pair with LaMelo Ball going forward. It may feel like selling low for the Lakers, but it does give them a more balanced roster.

4. Lakers receive: Jaren Jackson Jr., Santi Aldama, Jake LaRavia, 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), 2023 second-round pick, 2025 second-round pick
Memphis Grizzlies receive: Davis

Anthony Davis, Jake LaRavia, Santi Aldama and Jaren Jackson Jr.

This may be a deal that the Grizzlies pass on because they have so many young players that fit Ja Morant’s timeline, but Davis would be a great addition to the team.

Both Davis and Jackson have dealt with injury issues in the past few seasons, but the University of Kentucky product is clearly the better offensive player at this stage in their careers.

Aldama has stepped in nicely this season for Memphis with Jackson out, and LaRavia was a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

The deal would give the Lakers two nice pieces for the future as well as draft capital to make another big trade in the future.

5. Lakers receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Davis

Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard

Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard and Nick Wright recently said that they’d do a Davis for Lillard deal straight up, and it does make sense for the Lakers if it became available.

There is one major hurdle, as Lillard’s recent extension makes him ineligible to be traded until after the 2022-23 season.

The Lakers may not want to wait that long, but adding Lillard to this roster would immediately improve the team’s offense and outside shooting.

The Blazers may not be keen on trading their franchise star, but if this season doesn’t go the way that they hoped, it’s possible they become open to moving him.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.