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The Blockbuster Trade Idea That Lakers And Warriors Fans Might Like To See: Anthony Davis For Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, And Jonathan Kuminga

The Blockbuster Trade Idea That Lakers And Warriors Fans Might Like To See: Anthony Davis For Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, And Jonathan Kuminga

The Los Angeles Lakers had an awful season this past year, make no mistake about it. Despite being the favorites to come out of the Western Conference at the start of the year, the team looked like they were in a constant state of shambles, as they missed the playoffs and even a chance with the play-in tournament. How could a team that features LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook falter despite their Hall of Fame talent?

The answer was lack of fit, poor performances on defense, and lack of motivation. For whatever reason, the Lakers were not motivated enough to go after the franchise's 18th championship, as the play on both ends of the floor was horribly inconsistent. Perhaps most importantly, the fit of Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis was simply not good enough. With new head coach Darvin Ham taking over the team from Frank Vogel, the expectations are that Los Angeles will closely reach their potential and make the playoffs.

After all, how can the Lakers be any worse than the 33-49 version of themselves last year? The team ranked 28th in points allowed, giving up 115.1 PPG. On offense, they were middle of the road at best by ranking 23rd in offensive rating and 11th in points scored with 112.1 PPG.

As reported by Lakers Daily on the Lakers’ decision to hold on to their disgruntled point guard, the franchise is staying with the blockbuster signing from last year. With Westbrook on the roster going forward until next season, LeBron has to be considered untouchable, because he is fresh off a season averaging 30.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 6.2 APG and also making the All-NBA Third Team. The Lakers must realize that their only hope for winning the 2023 championship is through The King. And with Westbrook reportedly on board with the hiring of Darvin Ham, the Lakers have to look at their third star for a potential trade.

As reported by renowned inside Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Westbrook is excited to work with Darvin Ham because he was a former player who has the respect of the NBA players and coaches. Perhaps most importantly, Westbrook can opt into the final year of his maximum contract and feel at ease knowing he will play under a coach that has his best interests at heart.

Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook did not see eye-to-eye, possibly because the point guard did not respect the coach enough to be convinced to compete on the defensive end. It is no secret that Ham has said he wants to hold Russ accountable on the defensive end, but also the rest of the team. That means that Russ will not be the scapegoat for the Lakers during the 2022-2023 season, because the roster will have to conform to Ham’s philosophies. Finally, Westbrook will play under a head coach he truly respects and will probably be better on the defensive end as a result.

The latest news of Westbrook staying with the team and the untouchable status of LeBron James mean Anthony Davis is expendable, and nobody should have a problem with that. The big man only played 40 games last year and has only played over 60 games once in the past four years. For the Lakers that need to win right now, Davis has to be moved. The best destination? None other than the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors are currently locked in the NBA Finals with a chance to win the championship, but there is no denying that they must improve the roster to continue to contend with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as their cornerstones. Here is the trade package that could be offered to the Lakers that will send 8-time All-Star Anthony Davis to Golden State for a package including Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, and Jonathan Kuminga.

Trade Package: Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga For Anthony Davis

Clearly, this deal is a blockbuster trade that could shape the Western Conference and could be an excellent trade for both teams. Making a deal of this magnitude requires a ton of negotiation from both sides, but the trade package offered in this article could work perfectly for both sides, and here is why.


Los Angeles Needs To Make Changes, The King’s Time Is Running Out

Jordan Poole, Draymond Green, Jonathan Kuminga Los Angeles Lakers

There is no secret that LeBron James is on his final legs and in his final years, as he is 37 years old and will be 38 at some point next season. No matter how great an athlete is, as soon as the 40-year-old mark nears, production and physical capabilities take a hit. After all, we began to see James slowing down this season. As great as he was on offense, The King looked like a liability on defense at times. James just doesn’t have the lateral quickness and energy to become the lockdown defender we used to see from him when he made 6 All-Defensive Teams. Rather, along with Russell Westbrook, the Lakers had to put up with inconsistent effort on defense.

That wasn’t because LeBron didn’t care about the defensive end, it was just that the former 4-time MVP had to carry a heavy load on offense. Instead of having Westbrook and Davis relieve his load, they simply added more because of their inconsistencies and lack of health. As a result, James would often fail to track back on defense and did not help the already putrid Lakers' defense. As expected, Frank Vogel was made the scapegoat for that, as his firing was almost imminent following the end of the season. In the coming year, the Lakers need to add defense, shooting, and versatility to surround James and Westbrook.

No matter if Draymond Green is known as “Mr. Triple-Single” or if he is averaging more fouls than points in the NBA Finals, he is a game-changer on defense. Sure, he is struggling in the Finals and even his own mother isn’t sure what is going on with her son:

But Green is a former Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and without him, Golden State is not in the NBA Finals right now. In many ways, Green is an indispensable player for the franchise because of his on-court leadership and “bodyguard”-like persona with the team. For the Lakers, Green immediately becomes an important player for them on the defensive end because he can guard multiple positions and also hustle for loose balls. No question about it, Green is an immediate upgrade for the Lakers on defense.

Perhaps just as importantly, Draymond is an excellent passer and playmaker who can run the offense in times when Russ or LeBron are off the court and need a breather. We have seen Draymond carry the ball up the floor and make plays for his team consistently, so there is no reason to believe he could not do it with the Lakers. He has a chance to make them a better team on both ends of the court, something Anthony Davis has failed to do since the 2020 championship season. Through 4 games in the NBA Finals, Green is averaging 7.3 RPG, 5.8 APG, and 1.8 SPG as the starting power forward for the team. His scoring hasn’t been there, but even in his worst Finals series yet, he has shown instances where he can be effective when surrounded by other All-Stars.

Behind the scenes, there is no secret that Green and LeBron James are somehow very close. Despite being locked in constant battles in past Finals series and even having nasty exchanges on the court, dirty or not, they seem to be on good terms. Of course, Green is signed with Klutch Sports led by Rich Paul, who is LeBron’s closest friend. LeBron gets his man, the Lakers get a veteran defensive leader, and the roster already begins improving with the Anthony Davis trade.

Perhaps the juiciest piece of the trade for the Lakers is Jordan Poole, a budding star in this game with a natural shooting ability. Poole averaged 18.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 4.0 APG in the regular season on shooting splits of 44.8% from the field, 36.4% from three, and a league-leading 92.5% from the foul line. A third “Splash Brother” for the Warriors, Poole is an amazing shooter who can do wonders on a team led by LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. As their starting shooting guard, Poole can average 20 PPG with relative ease if he is given the shooting opportunities and continues his improvements as a scorer. Of course, Poole has built-in chemistry with Draymond Green.

With Poole and Green in the lineup alongside James and Westbrook, the final piece could be Jonathan Kuminga, a versatile forward with a very high ceiling. Kuminga appeared in 70 games this season, playing 16.9 MPG in his rookie campaign. A versatile defender who is showing the capability to nail a jump shot and also score at the rim, Kuminga averaged 9.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 0.9 APG on 51.3% from the field, 33.6% from three, and 68.4% from the foul line. Clearly, Jonathan is very raw and could blossom into the player we expected him to be when surrounded by LeBron James and the rest of the veterans of the Lakers. Los Angeles needs youth, energy, and defense, and they will certainly get it with Kuminga.


The Warriors Are An Excellent Team But Have Another Chance To Become A Dynasty

Anthony Davis Golden State Warriors

Golden State is a very good team this year, mainly thanks to the terrific system employed by Steve Kerr and the head coaches. Of course, All-Star point guard Stephen Curry is at the core of it because his shooting is simply out of this world.

In 64 appearances this year, the former two-time MVP averaged 25.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 6.3 APG on 43.7% from the field, 38.0% from three, and 92.3% from the free-throw line. In the 2020 Finals so far, the superstar guard is dropping 34.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG on 50.0% FG, 49.0% 3-PT FG, and 85.7% FT. Clearly, at the top of his game, Steph is untouchable and the core of what Golden State does.

But he isn’t the only hope for Golden State because the franchise will need more to continue winning championships in the future. Unfortunately, Klay Thompson looks past his prime as his legs are not the same anymore on both ends of the floor. At age 32 and still trying to recover from a career-altering knee and Achilles injury, Klay will likely never return to All-Star status. It is obvious from his numbers as well, as the former 5-time All-Star is averaging only 17.3 PPG on 35.8% from the field and 32.2% from three in the 2022 Finals.

Those shooting percentages are a far cry from his career averages, which stand at 19.5 PPG on 45.8% from the field and 41.7% from the three-point line. Klay is not the same shooter and definitely not the same player, and it might not get better as he heads towards 33 years old. Rather, it could get significantly worse over the next two years.

The Golden State Warriors need a third star to compete and make up for Thompson’s lack of consistency following a severe injury. As Curry approaches 35 years old, the franchise must win now. With an established 8-time All-Star in Davis, the Warriors are going all-in over the next two years at a minimum.

Sure, Davis has been unable to stay healthy and he cannot be trusted to be on the floor long enough during the regular season. But the Warriors truly only need Davis for at least 50-60 games in the regular season and full time in the playoffs, because the system is in place for them to consistently capture a top-3 seed in the Western Conference with Curry leading the way. Draymond is a big loss in terms of camaraderie and chemistry, but Davis can replace his defense in the paint and also provide some of the best offense in the league by a big man.

Remember, Davis is a knockdown shooter from mid-range and the three-point line and led the Los Angeles Lakers in scoring during the 2020 championship season at 26.1 PPG. A Big Three of Curry, Thompson, and Davis with role players Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr, and Kevin Looney playing significant roles, the Warriors would become a force.

Green is clearly past his best at age 32, as he is nowhere near the same player in terms of athleticism and offensive presence. In many ways, he is an offensive liability. He is far off the player that dropped 32 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assists on 11-15 from the field, including 6-8 from the three-point line. Instead, Green is averaging only 4.3 PPG on 23.1% from the field, 0.0% from three, and 50.0% from the foul line. These are putrid numbers from the team’s third-best player and from a guy who is considered the leader of the team. Green has been so terrible on offense, that head coach Steve Kerr had to bench him in critical moments during Game 4. Draymond has accumulated more fouls than points over the first 4 games, and his scoring has been non-existent. Draymond used to be able to make his three-pointers, but he has not made a single shot from deep in the 2022 Finals on 9 attempts. As expected, Green also had a limited role in Game 5 by fouling out and also getting benched throughout the game.

The Warriors cannot also afford to continue to wait for Jordan Poole to develop into a potential star, and the shooting guard could be in the mix for a hefty long-term contract. After becoming a contender for Most Improved Player this season, his path to an All-Star could be developing. Once that happens, he will expect to receive maximum money as soon as the 2024 season. As a restricted free agent, there could be a team out there willing to offer a minimum of $135,000,000 over four years. If the Warriors match, that is another player making over $30 million on their roster. By trading him now, they avoid the headache of deciding whether to match offer sheets or lose the talented guard for nothing.

Losing Poole and Draymond will hurt, but keeping Andrew Wiggins certainly won’t. Wiggins is a perfect player for Golden State’s system because he is a tremendous athlete on both ends of the floor, and has improved his outside shooting. This season, the swingman shot a career-high 39.2% from deep and is Golden State’s second-best performer in the 2022 Finals by averaging 16.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 1.3 BPG. Wiggins has become an elite defender, something we expected of him earlier on in his career, and his outside shooting has been a plus. Keeping Wiggins with Klay and Steph and also adding an elite two-way big man could extend their championship window another 2 years at the minimum.

Golden State has managed to win three championships during the “Splash Brothers” era without the presence of a dominant big man. That shows how much they have changed the game, but there is no question that a player of Davis’ talent makes them considerably more talented on both ends of the floor. There is also little doubt that head coach Steve Kerr will bring out the best in Davis on both ends of the floor because he is one of the most naturally talented power forwards/centers of all time. In many ways, Green, Poole, and Kuminga can be sacrificed to create a Big Four with Curry, Klay, Wiggins, and Davis with Looney rounding out the lineup.


A Win-Win For Both Teams, But The Deal Must Happen For Lakers Fans

Strangely, there could be a deal where the Los Angeles Lakers lose Anthony Davis and still win the deal. Anthony Davis has been a solid contributor to the franchise over the past few years when he has been on the court. The Lakers have a top-5 player of all time in LeBron James and must take advantage because they will not draft or trade for a player as great as him. With James, the Lakers must make everyone expendable for the right deal.

With no offers on the table for Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis must be sacrificed. Lakers fans want their 18th championship, especially if the Boston Celtics win their 18th championship this year. Draymond Green would be welcomed in Los Angeles because of his defensive efforts and perceived on-court toughness will be a breath of fresh air following last season’s disastrous ending. Not to mention, Green and James can rekindle each other’s competitive fires in the best way possible.

No question, Lakers fans will also love what Jordan Poole will bring to the table. As surprisingly consistent as Malik Monk was as the team’s starting shooting guard, he is not the shooter or all-around offensive player that Poole is. Jordan was in the mix for the Most Improved Player award, posting 18.5 PPG this year from 12.0 PPG a year prior. As one of the players most likely to earn his first All-Star berth in 2023, Poole’s deep-range shooting would give the Lakers some much-needed offense from the perimeter. With Russ and LeBron attacking defenses, Poole will have the luxury of having open shots consistently.

The Purple and Gold will also help Jonathan Kuminga become the two-way stud he can become. As a bundle of talent, being surrounded by LeBron James and a no-nonsense head coach in Darvin Ham would do wonders for his career. Lakers fans are ready for a change, and even if they are grateful to Anthony Davis for helping them win a championship in 2020, seeing him walk away for a package of three elite contributors would immediately wash away feelings of nostalgia.

The NBA is a brutal league built on winning at all costs, and that is even more accentuated with the Lakers franchise. The Purple and Gold make no apologies for making big decisions that can be polarizing, and Anthony Davis is nowhere near the untouchable level of LeBron James, and as such, he should be traded for the sake of the team. Knowing the Lakers fans as they are, they certainly won’t mind. 

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