The Los Angeles Lakers made a deal to acquire Anthony Davis on Saturday night. The 26-year-old superstar will be leaving the New Orleans Pelicans to join the Lakers, but not everyone thinks it's such a great long-term deal.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst is one of those people. The analyst called the haul New Orleans received "potentially scandalous" and compared it to the ill-fated trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics that accelerated the Celtics rebuild rapidly while doing long-term damage to the Nets franchise.
“What they gave up for him is potentially scandalous,” Windhorst told ESPN 710 in Los Angeles (as transcribed by MassLive's John Karalis). “It is an unbelievable haul that they gave. And not all the details are out there yet, but when they get out there, you’re going to see why. It is the Nets-Celtics trade part 2. It’s going to affect them long after LeBron is out of his prime and maybe no longer on the team.”
Of course, the main pieces the Nets acquired in the trade with the Celtics (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry) were all over the age of 35, so the deals are much different. Davis is still going to be in his prime for years to come, so the deal could pay off short-term if Davis and LeBron James are able to team up and win a title. And if Kyrie Irving joins them in L.A.? They could be the next super team and will surely have longer than the one-year window the Nets ended up with.
But giving up five to seven years of control of their draft picks is certainly a risk for the Lakers, especially with James set to turn 35 in December.
That likely explains why Danny Ainge was wary of completing this deal for Davis. Ainge has seen first-hand the impact of the Celtics-Nets trade, and he definitely doesn't want to come out on the other end of the deal. Reportedly, the Celtics refused to include Jayson Tatum in trade talks with the Pelicans and that may have been due to Rich Paul's comments about Davis leaving Boston after one season. The C's weren't about to pay a king's ransom for a one-year rental, so that allowed the Lakers to swoop in with the winning offer.
Only time will tell if this deal ends up becoming Celtics-Nets 2.0. All that we know now is that the Lakers gave up a lot to get one of the NBA's best players. And the Celtics elected to be conservative and continue to stockpile their long-term assets.
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