With the 2019 NBA Draft in less than a week, the unhappy star of the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis, is waiting for everyone to be traded before or on the night of the repechage. The Lakers are considered to be Davis's big favorites since the Pelicans began to listen to his offers earlier this week, but the devastating injuries the Golden State Warriors suffered in the NBA finals could change the type of defense. Offers that New Orleans receives for Davis.
In case the Lakers are outbidding Davis, there is a belief – or a sense of optimism – among the fans: the team will focus on Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal. Last month, Sean Deveney of Sporting News announced that the Lakers were interested in trading with the All-Star twice. Since winning the No. 4 NBA Draft Lottery, Beal seems to be a realistic option for Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, it does not seem like Beal is going anywhere, and if he does, it will be soon. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Wizards would prefer not to exchange Beal (via the "Ryen Russillo Show"):
"Beal, they want to keep it and they can offer it – I think on July 26 – three years … is this three, an extension of $ 111 million? But for the moment, there is no one who organizes basketball operations. Tommy Shepard, the Acting Director General, I certainly know that. The owner greatly appreciates Beal. They will not do anything before deciding who the permanent GM is. You do not let an interim GM trade Bradley Beal, it will not happen, I do not think so. Unless the owner decides that he wants to do it. "
That might not mean much to the Lakers when they land a free-standing All Star guard like Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, or Kemba Walker, but they're unable to match James with a guard. Elite free investment, Beal's availability, or lack thereof, could jeopardize their plans for next season.
The Lakers are facing tremendous pressure to pressure James, who will turn 35 in December. While it is possible for them to participate in the playoffs without another star member in a Western conference that should be wide open next season, it's hard to imagine them training too far in the playoffs with no option 2 legitimate.
This also raises concerns about a possible trade of desperation by the front office. If they're picking on Beal, Davis and their big targets as a free agency, would they consider doing a deal that would save the face for a less desirable player like Chris Paul, DeMar? DeRozan or Andre Drummond? It is not impossible.
The absence of free agent Beal, Davis and All-Star may not be the end of the world for the Lakers, but it would increase the stakes for the front office. Hope they will not get to that.
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