After months of trade talks, the Anthony Davis era of the New Orleans Pelicans ended on Saturday afternoon with a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.
As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans have traded Davis for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks including the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Beyond the 4th pick in this year’s draft, Tim Bentomps of ESPN reports that the Pelicans will acquire a top-8 protected first-round pick in the 2021 draft, an unprotected first-round pick in 2022 and 2024 and a pair of unprotected swap picks in 2023 and 2025. Also, Andrew Lopez mentions that this isn’t the complete haul for the Pelicans.
This comes after numerous reports that the trade might have required a third team like the Boston Celtics or the New York Knicks.
Davis, who averaged 25.7 points and 12.0 rebounds per game last season, is under contract for one more season at $27.1 million with a player option for 2020-21, per Spotrac.
This ends a lengthy period of change for the New Orleans Pelicans that saw general manager Dell Demps get the boot in February after Davis announced that he wanted to be traded from the franchise. From that point on, the Pelicans season went in the tank and ended the 2018-19 season with a 33-49 record after what looked to be a promising start with the franchise starting out 4-0.
Things started to turn around not long after the final buzzer went off on New Orleans’ turbulent season when David Griffin was hired on as the vice president of basketball operations in April. While he was optimistic that they would be able to keep the 26-year-old power forward, it wasn’t meant to be.
The Pelicans have a veritable treasure trove of picks ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20th now, including the number one pick, giving them the opportunity to select Duke star Zion Williamson.
Now that this trade is complete, the Pelicans franchise can start preparing for life after Anthony Davis and start building towards long-term success.