Two NBA teams that are in the minds of the media and NBA fans alike are the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Both teams have been in trade rumors all season long because they are both in win-now mode following the end of the 2022 NBA season. Of course, they finished on two different ends of the spectrum as well.
Because of the performances of their two great players and the defensive prowess of the supporting cast, the Boston Celtics had an incredible run last year because they made it to the NBA Finals. The team worked well together, and Ime Udoka, the team's first-time head coach, did a great job of convincing everyone to buy into their strategy. But as was to be expected, the more seasoned Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. Nevertheless, the Celtics had a remarkable season since no one had anticipated that they would advance so far in the playoffs, especially after their poor start to the season.
Jaylen Brown was involved in trade discussions for Kevin Durant, but ultimately, that fell through. It is no secret that Brown felt unnerved by that rumor, and he clearly feels unappreciated because fans and the franchise itself tend to favor Jayson Tatum. The duo of Tatum and Brown worked well together, but the Celtics might want to make some major moves to shake up the roster. The idea target: Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Meanwhile, the Lakers had a completely different start and end to the 2022 season. For Lakers supporters all throughout the world, the 2022 season was one of frustration and inconsistency. The Los Angeles Lakers had one of the worst seasons in franchise history and were eliminated from playoff contention after failing to earn a spot in the play-in round. Despite having LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook as three superstars (more or less) in their primes, the Lakers' players watched the postseason from their homes. They finished with a putrid 33-49 record, a terrible record.
It was even worse, considering how dominant LeBron James was. The King averaged 30.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 6.2 APG while competing for the scoring title all year long. How could a LeBron James team be that terrible when the player was at his best? The team’s record was terrible, and nobody could have foreseen such terrible play at the beginning of the year, especially as the 11th seed in the West. The franchise tried to move Russell Westbrook, but it seems the point guard is in for next season as well.
The only realistic trade option for the Lakers is Anthony Davis, a big man who led the Lakers in scoring in 2020 and helped lead the team to the NBA championship. Davis has been an inconsistent presence for the Lakers due to his injuries, and it seems everyone has had enough with it. The best bet for the Lakers to make a roster shakeup next season is to move Anthony Davis to the franchise’s biggest rival: the Boston Celtics.
A deal that sends Anthony Davis to the Celtics in favor of Jaylen Brown could be a blockbuster trade that would work tremendously well. Here is the trade package that could be done for both sides to improve:
Trade Package: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart for Anthony Davis, 2027 First-Round Pick
Here is why this trade package works for both teams and how this deal would change the NBA landscape.
Boston Add Size And Skill In The Paint To Complement Jayson Tatum
The Boston Celtics' rout of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs was largely due to the exceptional play on both ends of the floor by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as the superior defense of Marcus Smart and Al Horford. Unquestionably, the core of the roster had a strong season as a unit, pushing the Golden State Warriors to a Game 6 before falling short of forcing a Game 7. There is no doubting that the Celtics' Finals loss was heartbreaking because they came out against the Warriors lacking maturity and preparation. Golden State was first shocked by how frequently the Celtics injured themselves while playing because of their horrendously high turnover rate.
Fortunately, Boston did a terrific job of improving their point guard performance by bringing in Malcolm Brogdon, but they should make an even bigger move to get a quality big man in need of a change of scenery. Jayson Tatum is unstoppable due to his exceptional scoring skills and potential to one day consistently contend for the MVP award. Importantly, it must be noted that Anthony Davis, when at his best, is a superior player to Jaylen Brown and can team up with Jayson Tatum to form probably the league's best offensive perimeter pair. Aside from the two superstars, the Celtics can also hold onto other important players like Al Horford, Robert Williams, and Malcolm Brogdon.
It must be mentioned that there are no guarantees that the Boston Celtics will make the NBA Finals again. They had a magical run last year, and everything worked perfectly for them to get where they went. Next year, the Milwaukee Bucks will be back healthy, and the Philadelphia 76ers improved their roster as James Harden becomes more familiar with the system. Not to mention, the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks will always be threats due to their All-Star talent. Boston needs to make a major move to get a step over these franchises, and Anthony Davis could be a game-changer.
LeBron James And Jaylen Brown Form The Best Duo In The Western Conference
The Lakers have made no secret that they want to shake up the roster to complement bona fide All-Star LeBron James. The goal is to add win-now players, and the Celtics package gives them that. Brown is an All-Star with a chance to form a nice duo with The King, and Marcus Smart is fresh off a season where he was named the best defensive player in the league. The Lakers starting lineup greatly improves on both ends of the floor by moving Davis for Brown and Smart, as it will be complete with James, Beverley, and Thomas Bryant playing big roles. The problem with the Lakers was their lack of consistency and poor defensive efforts, things this deal immediately solves. Marcus Smart and Patrick Beverley are a backcourt duo nobody wants to come up against because both players are irritants who play hard and also defend the ball very well. Smart singlehandedly improved the Lakers' defense, the weakest part of the team right now. Importantly, Brown is a very solid defender who took massive strides in that aspect last year.
Anthony Davis is a dominant defender when healthy, but he seems to be too comfortable in Los Angeles, where he feels he is untouchable. He earned his ring in 2020 by playing like a top-10 player in the game, but since then, he has fallen off the radar. The Lakers cannot afford to risk keeping a complacent big man with LeBron James heading into his 40s in just a few years. The Lakers must win now and make a massive roster change, and Anthony Davis is their best bet to do so because Marcus Smart and, especially, Jaylen Brown are game-changers.
No doubt, Jaylen Brown immediately becomes the second-best player on the Los Angeles Lakers as he averaged 23.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 3.5 APG last year with the Celtics while shooting 47.3% from the field, 35.8% from three, and 75.8% from the free-throw line. Those are All-Star stats and numbers that indicate Brown was one of the most talented players under 26 years old in the NBA last year. Brown has at least 6 more years at an All-Star level if he continues to improve his game on both ends of the floor. LeBron and Brown will be impossible to defend against, and the rest of the roster is filled with two-way players and shooters, including Marcus Smart, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker, and Thomas Bryant.
The Lakers could very well be the favorite to come out of the Western Conference because adding an All-Star in his prime who is generally sturdy and available takes them over the top. Winning an NBA championship isn’t easy, and nothing is guaranteed, which means going after arguably a top-20 player should be a no-brainer for the Lakers, even if it means losing a once-in-a-generation talent in Anthony Davis.
Celtics Start Playing Bigger, Lakers Have A Shot To Win The West
Boston has size with Al Horford and Robert Williams, but the former is 36 and going on 37, while Williams seems to be an injury-prone player because he is a big man who battles hard in the paint. Bringing in Anthony Davis can prolong Al Horford’s impact as a big man while giving Williams a breather here and there. Of course, their interior defense greatly improves because Davis can block shots and defend the rim with the best of them. So for one, the Celtics improve their paint offense and defense.
Next, Jayson Tatum gets free reign on the perimeter. Tatum is an elite scorer, and Malcolm Brogdon could unlock his play even better due to better playmaking. Brogdon and Tatum will be critical pieces in the offense and could lead the charge every play. Having a big man who can receive the ball and go to work also means the Celtics will be more efficient on offense. A big man will almost always shoot a higher percentage when compared to a perimeter player who relies on outside shots. Essentially, Boston improves their efficiency by taking higher-quality shots, a factor that greatly hurt them in the Finals last year. Of course, Tatum and Davis form one of the best duos in the NBA by a long shot.
For the Lakers, they make their roster move by bringing in Jaylen Brown, who can help LeBron James now and also help the Lakers in the future. Brown is only 25 years old, which means he has 7 years at a top level if he takes care of his body. He could lead the charge for the Purple and Gold after The King retires and has the skills to be a franchise cornerstone. But importantly, Brown complements James because he is immediately available and can make outside shots and create his own offense. Of course, Brown will be hungry to prove himself that he is a superstar player and won’t be complacent in Los Angeles like Davis.
Next, Marcus Smart adds elite defensive play for a Lakers team that is defensively deficient. Smart plays hard and has proven to be a winner, and is clearly a player that LeBron James is fond of. Smart and Beverley will form a tough backcourt to score against and Brown completes a dynamic duo with LeBron James. Losing Anthony Davis won’t be easy, but the Lakers need to make a change because James will be 38 years old next year and cannot afford to bring back a team that completely missed the playoffs. The Lakers shake up the roster, add in a star, and form arguably the most talented duo in the Western Conference. Instead of bringing back a core that missed the playoffs, the Lakers can make a move to completely change the way they will play under head coach Darvin Ham.