The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for forward-center Anthony Davis, according to multiple reports.
The Lakers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the deal, which was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and later by the Los Angeles Times, which cited “a person with knowledge of the deal not authorized to speak publicly.”
New Orleans will receive the fourth selection in the 2019 NBA draft and a 2021 first-round choice in if it is among the top eight. Otherwise, the Pelicans would receive an unprotected 2022 first-round choice
The teams will swap unprotected first-round choices in 2023. New Orleans would also received an unprotected first-round choice in 2024 they could defer until 2025, ESPN reported.
The trade provides Lakers forward LeBron James with another superstar as he tries to lift the franchise back into championship contention after a six-season playoff drought.
“AD on da way!!” James posted on his Instagram account, accompanying by a picture of himself next to Davis, who is depicted wearing a Laker uniform. “@antdavis23. Let’s get it bro! Just the beginning.. #LakeShow.”
The posting included emojis for smiling and a crown.
The trade would still leave the team with enough room under the salary cap to sign another big-name free agent this summer.
Davis, 26, has averaged 23.7 points and 10.5 rebounds during his seven-year NBA career, all with New Orleans.
Davis is under contract through the 2020-21 season, although he holds a player option on the final year of his contract, meaning he could opt to be a free agent after this season.
In a series of tweets, former Laker executive Magic Johnson praised owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka.
“Great job by Owner Jeanie Buss bringing Anthony Davis to the Lakers!” Johnson tweeted. “Laker Nation, the Lakers are back in a championship hunt! Congratulations to the entire organization. I know LeBron James has a big smile on his face. I’m loving this!!
“Laker Nation, you wanted the great Jeanie Buss to step up and bring a championship team back to LA and she’s doing just that! And the Lakers still have over $30 million of cap space to spend on free agents starting June 30th.
“Great trade Rob Pelinka! Job well done.”
Johnson resigned as the Lakers president of basketball operations April 9 due to frustrations over limitations he faced as a team executive, including restrictions under NBA rules on tweeting.
Ball’s father LaVar called the trade “the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life.”
“They’ll never win another championship,” the elder Ball told ESPN. “Guarantee. They’re going to regret it.”
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