Bill Simmons believes that the Los Angeles Lakers may have won the Anthony Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans after his strong game against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.
The Lakers still owe one more first-round pick to the Pelicans, but the return the team got for Davis hasn’t been as lucrative as one may have thought considering all of the draft capital the Lakers gave up.
New Orleans acquired Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks from the Lakers in the Davis deal.
While Ingram is a very solid player and has made an All-Star team, Ball is no longer with the franchise and missed the entire 2022-23 season with a knee injury. Hart was a part of the trade that brought C.J. McCollum to New Orleans and is now with the New York Knicks.
Simmons broke down that the draft picks that the Pelicans acquired have turned into Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker (from picks acquired in the De’Andre Hunter trade) and Dyson Daniels with one more pick still remaining.
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“What we saw from Davis today and the ceiling that he gives you, and L.A. already won a title,” said Simmons. “I was adamant like, ‘Hey look you win the trade if you win the title, but man they (the Lakers) gave up too much.’ I think I have to wave the white flag. [Ryen] Russillo, they might have won the trade.”
It’s hard to argue that the Lakers lost the trade considering they already won a title with Davis playing alongside James. While it seemed like the team gave up a lot, the Pelicans have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since the deal.
Ingram is a very solid young star, but Davis provided the Lakers with a superstar ready to win now with James in the 2019-20 season. Now, the Lakers are right back in the mix for an NBA title after winning Game 1 of their first round series against the Grizzlies.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka certainly deserves credit for not just the Davis deal, but for the moves he has made this season to get the Lakers back in a position to contend for a title once again.
Davis will look to prove Simmons right with more dazzling postseason performances in the 2022-23 campaign.