Lakers officially bring Davis into the fold

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Los Angeles Lakers made it official last Saturday, announcing they have signed forward Anthony Davis, who they hope will form a dynamic one-two punch with superstar LeBron James.

“Anthony Davis is arguably the most dominant all-around young player in today’s NBA,” said Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka. “Anthony represents everything we stand for, with his unwavering commitment to excellence as both a person and athlete.

“This is a historic moment for the Lakers franchise, and we couldn’t be more proud to have him.”

The Davis signing took place on the first day NBA teams were allowed to officially sign free agents to contracts that were already negotiated over the past week.

The Lakers reiterated in their statement that they have acquired Davis in a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter, two first-round picks, and cash.

File photo shows LeBron James (L) and Anthony Davis of Los Angeles Lakers watching a game during the 2019 NBA Summer League. – AFP

As part of the trade, the Lakers also sent Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, Moritz Wagner and a second-round draft pick to the Washington Wizards, who in return, sent cash consideration to the Pelicans.

Davis is a six-time NBA all-star who has averaged more than 23 points per game through seven seasons with New Orleans, who drafted him with the first overall pick in 2012.

Davis also played alongside James in the USA’s 2012 Olympics gold-medal-winning roster.

The Lakers announced several other signings last Saturday.

The Lakers agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Golden State centre DeMarcus Cousins worth USD2.3 million and a two-year deal with guard Rajon Rondo to stay, ESPN reported last Saturday.

Rondo, 33, helped Boston to the 2008 NBA title while Cousins, 28, recovered from a torn left Achilles tendon last season after four consecutive All-Star seasons.

A four-time all-star, Cousins has played in 565 career games for Sacramento, New Orleans, and Golden State, averaging 21.2 points and 10.9 rebounds.

Also joining James and Davis are swingman Danny Green, an ex-Clipper who played for Toronto last season, on a two-year deal worth USD30 million, and Golden State guard Quinn Cook on a two-year deal worth USD6 million.

The Lakers also kept Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a two-year deal worth USD16 million and centre JaVale McGee on a two-year deal worth USD8.2 million deal.