Los Angeles - Anthony
Davis will form a high-powered NBA strikeforce alongside LeBron James
next season after the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to a trade deal with
the Los Angeles Lakers, US media reports said Saturday.
ESPN and the Los Angeles Times said unsettled star Davis will join
the Lakers in a move which will see the Pelicans receive multiple
players and draft picks in return.
The Pelicans roster will be bolstered by the arrival of Lakers players Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.
More significantly, the Pelicans will also receive three first-round
draft picks, including the number four overall pick currently owned by
the Lakers heading into next Thursday's NBA draft.
It means the Pelicans now have the first and fourth picks in the
draft, potentially giving the franchise the chance to build a
For the Lakers, the move gives James the sort of high-calibre roster
reinforcement he has been craving since his arrival in Los Angeles from
the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer.
Davis, 26, shares the same agent as James, and has been agitating for
a move since January, when he informed the Pelicans he planned to
The Lakers made a bungled attempt to trade for Davis in February but
pulled out of negotiations with New Orleans after complaining of
"outrageous" demands by the Pelicans.
The Lakers had reportedly agreed to offload Ball, Ingram and Hart as
well as Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the earlier
The collapsed deal was reported to have destabilised the Lakers
dressing room and the team's season tailed off dramatically as they
failed to make the playoffs once again.
That disappointing finish to the Lakers season led to the shock resignation of president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.
Johnson later said a rift with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had
been behind his departure, accusing his former colleague of "betrayal".
On Saturday, however, Johnson took to Twitter to congratulate Pelinka and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss.
"Great trade Rob Pelinka! Job well done," Johnson wrote.
"Great job by Owner Jeanie Buss bringing Anthony Davis to the Lakers!
Laker Nation, the Lakers are back in a championship hunt!
Congratulations to the entire organization.
"I know LeBron James has a big smile on his face. I'm loving this!!"
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.