The Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions again, mainly thanks to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The duo was the best in the league and both players complemented each other tremendously. They brought too much size and impact on the floor together, as their run in only their first year together was truly historical. That is why many NBA fans are wondering if Anthony Davis is LeBron’s best teammate ever because of how dominant they looked this past season.
But the saying goes, nobody is irreplaceable. While that is not true for Finals MVP LeBron James, it is for every NBA player including Anthony Davis. While AD showed he is a perfect fit for LeBron, there are 5 players that the Lakers might consider trading AD for. To make things interesting and challenge reality, here are the only players the Los Angeles Lakers would trade Anthony Davis for to pair with LeBron James.
5. Luka Doncic
2019-2020 Statistics: 28.8 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 8.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Luka Doncic is a young prodigy, meaning he can be a franchise and championship-caliber player for at least a decade and a half. Doncic has already arrived as a superstar and one of the 10 best players in the league in only his second season. Doncic scores the ball, passes, and rebounds at an elite level and is the perfect complement to LeBron James. Anthony Davis might be a better player all-around than Doncic at this moment due to his defensive capabilities, but Doncic has unlimited potential and can be an all-time great.
Doncic has put up numbers that leap off the page and he will most likely put up the same numbers when playing alongside LeBron. Doncic can handle the ball and be a primary playmaker, something Davis can’t do. Doncic is also 21 years old, 6 years younger than Davis, meaning he has 6 extra superstars years that he can offer to the Lakers once LeBron James finally hangs it up.
4. James Harden
2019-2020 Statistics: 34.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG
James Harden is the best scorer in the NBA, and he is the best overall offensive player in the last decade. LeBron James has always remained consistent in his desire for another playmaker, and James Harden happens to be an elite scorer and playmaker at once. Harden has single-handedly changed the Houston Rockets franchise and made them title contenders since his first year, and hasn’t slowed down since. Playing alongside LeBron James will also limit his love of isolation play which will diversify his impact.
Harden and LeBron will be unstoppable offensively and no team in the league will be able to match their production. Two triple-double machines on one team will ultimately lead to at least one NBA title, and Harden will lead the Lakers post-LeBron as well. Davis is a spectacular talent and one of the 5 best players in the league, but Harden has shown he can carry a franchise on his back and is ultimately a better player.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
2019-2020 Statistics: 29.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG
The reigning 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is a special player and a surefire Hall of Famer when all is said and done. Giannis has a complete game that only lacks in perimeter shooting, which he is slowly improving. Once he gets his jump shot in check, the man will be the best player in the world. As of now, he is a top-5 player in the world and the best regular-season player over the past 2 years. A team that has both LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo is unfair and completely dominant in every way.
Even though Giannis doesn’t complement LeBron’s style of play, since LeBron prefers shooters who can space the floor, there is no doubt he can find a way to make this duo work. Giannis is an excellent scorer and playmaker just like LeBron, and he has the best overall skill set to carry the Lakers when LeBron rests or eventually retires. Giannis with the Lakers is a dream one true for Lakers fans, and they would acquire him in a heartbeat if possible.
2. Kawhi Leonard
2019-2020 Statistics: 27.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is quite possibly the best 2-way player in the game when it comes to postseason performances. Despite a disappointing first year with the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard showed enough to prove he is untouchable as a franchise player. What he brings to the table is very similar to what Michael Jordan used to bring in terms of patient dominance and controlled play on both ends. Leonard is a superstar of the highest order with a tremendous basketball I.Q., which would make him a perfect partner alongside LeBron James.
Kawhi and LeBron will be unbeatable by the times the playoffs arrive before they are both basketball experts who simply know what it takes to win. Leonard has a Finals MVP with 2 different teams and is a 2-time Defensive Player of the Year winner. As good as Anthony Davis is, that might be two awards that he might not ever win in his career. The Lakers value Davis as an untouchable, but Kawhi Leonard is an absolute must-get and anyone can be made available for him. Kawhi’s unselfishness and ability to make clutch shots makes him the best player the Lakers can possibly acquire for Anthony Davis, except for one special player.
1. Kevin Durant
2018-2019 Statistics: 26.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.9 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.1 BPG
Assuming he is healthy, Kevin Durant is the second-best player in the NBA. In fact, he has made the most competition on knocking LeBron James off the throne as the King of the NBA. Durant has it all, and he has zero weakness when it comes to dominating a game of basketball. He is a sharpshooter from deep, a perfect offensive player in terms of creating his own shot, and an exceptional defensive player. KD with LeBron James is the single best fit in NBA history. That is no surprise since KD can fit on any team as shown with his stint with the Golden State Warriors.
Durant is a special scorer yet is very unselfish. He doesn’t mind sharing the ball and prefers to play alongside other unselfish superstar players to win rings. KD isn’t the type of player to want to win on his own and prove he is the best, he wants to have fun and dominate the game on a good team. KD and LeBron will win at least 1-2 rings before James retires, and this would probably be the biggest trade in NBA history if the Lakers were to swap Davis for Durant.