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The Blockbuster Trade Idea That Lakers And Warriors Fans Might Like To See: Anthony Davis For Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, And Jonathan Kuminga

Golden State is a very good team this year, mainly thanks to the terrific system employed by Steve Kerr and the head coaches. Of course, All-Star point guard Stephen Curry is at the core of it because his shooting is simply out of this world.

In 64 appearances this year, the former two-time MVP averaged 25.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 6.3 APG on 43.7% from the field, 38.0% from three, and 92.3% from the free-throw line. In the 2020 Finals so far, the superstar guard is dropping 34.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG on 50.0% FG, 49.0% 3-PT FG, and 85.7% FT. Clearly, at the top of his game, Steph is untouchable and the core of what Golden State does.

But he isn’t the only hope for Golden State because the franchise will need more to continue winning championships in the future. Unfortunately, Klay Thompson looks past his prime as his legs are not the same anymore on both ends of the floor. At age 32 and still trying to recover from a career-altering knee and Achilles injury, Klay will likely never return to All-Star status. It is obvious from his numbers as well, as the former 5-time All-Star is averaging only 17.3 PPG on 35.8% from the field and 32.2% from three in the 2022 Finals.

Those shooting percentages are a far cry from his career averages, which stand at 19.5 PPG on 45.8% from the field and 41.7% from the three-point line. Klay is not the same shooter and definitely not the same player, and it might not get better as he heads towards 33 years old. Rather, it could get significantly worse over the next two years.

The Golden State Warriors need a third star to compete and make up for Thompson’s lack of consistency following a severe injury. As Curry approaches 35 years old, the franchise must win now. With an established 8-time All-Star in Davis, the Warriors are going all-in over the next two years at a minimum.

Sure, Davis has been unable to stay healthy and he cannot be trusted to be on the floor long enough during the regular season. But the Warriors truly only need Davis for at least 50-60 games in the regular season and full time in the playoffs, because the system is in place for them to consistently capture a top-3 seed in the Western Conference with Curry leading the way. Draymond is a big loss in terms of camaraderie and chemistry, but Davis can replace his defense in the paint and also provide some of the best offense in the league by a big man.

Remember, Davis is a knockdown shooter from mid-range and the three-point line and led the Los Angeles Lakers in scoring during the 2020 championship season at 26.1 PPG. A Big Three of Curry, Thompson, and Davis with role players Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr, and Kevin Looney playing significant roles, the Warriors would become a force.

Green is clearly past his best at age 32, as he is nowhere near the same player in terms of athleticism and offensive presence. In many ways, he is an offensive liability. He is far off the player that dropped 32 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assists on 11-15 from the field including 6-8 from the three-point line. Instead, Green is averaging only 4.3 PPG on 23.1% from the field, 0.0% from three, and 50.0% from the foul line. These are putrid numbers from the team’s third-best player and from a guy who is considered the leader of the team. Green has been so terrible on offense, that head coach Steve Kerr had to bench him in critical moments during Game 4. Draymond has accumulated more fouls than points over the first 4 games, and his scoring has been non-existent. Draymond used to be able to make his three-pointers, but he has not made a single shot from deep in the 2022 Finals on 9 attempts. As expected, Green also had a limited role in Game 5 by fouling out and also getting benched throughout the game.

The Warriors cannot also afford to continue to wait for Jordan Poole to develop into a potential star, and the shooting guard could be in the mix for a hefty long-term contract. After becoming a contender for Most Improved Player this season, his path to an All-Star could be developing. Once that happens, he will expect to receive maximum money as soon as the 2024 season. As a restricted free agent, there could be a team out there willing to offer a minimum of $135,000,000 over four years. If the Warriors match, that is another player making over $30 million on their roster. By trading him now, they avoid the headache of deciding whether to match offer sheets or lose the talented guard for nothing.

Losing Poole and Draymond will hurt, but keeping Andrew Wiggins certainly won’t. Wiggins is a perfect player for Golden State’s system because he is a tremendous athlete on both ends of the floor, and has improved his outside shooting. This season, the swingman shot a career-high 39.2% from deep and is Golden State’s second-best performer in the 2022 Finals by averaging 16.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 1.3 BPG. Wiggins has become an elite defender, something we expected of him earlier on in his career, and his outside shooting has been a plus. Keeping Wiggins with Klay and Steph and also adding an elite two-way big man could extend their championship window another 2 years at the minimum.

Golden State has managed to win three championships during the “Splash Brothers” era without the presence of a dominant big man. That shows how much they have changed the game, but there is no question that a player of Davis’ talent makes them considerably more talented on both ends of the floor. There is also little doubt that head coach Steve Kerr will bring out the best in Davis on both ends of the floor because he is one of the most naturally talented power forwards/centers of all time. In many ways, Green, Poole, and Kuminga can be sacrificed to create a Big Four with Curry, Klay, Wiggins, and Davis with Looney rounding out the lineup.

A Win-Win For Both Teams, But The Deal Must Happen For Lakers Fans

Strangely, there could be a deal where the Los Angeles Lakers lose Anthony Davis and still win the deal. Anthony Davis has been a solid contributor to the franchise over the past few years when he has been on the court. The Lakers have a top-5 player of all time in LeBron James and must take advantage because they will not draft or trade for a player as great as him. With James, the Lakers must make everyone expendable for the right deal.

With no offers on the table for Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis must be sacrificed. Lakers fans want their 18th championship, especially if the Boston Celtics win their 18th championship this year. Draymond Green would be welcomed in Los Angeles because of his defensive efforts and perceived on-court toughness will be a breath of fresh air following last season’s disastrous ending. Not to mention, Green and James can rekindle each other’s competitive fires in the best way possible.

No question, Lakers fans will also love what Jordan Poole will bring to the table. As surprisingly consistent as Malik Monk was as the team’s starting shooting guard, he is not the shooter or all-around offensive player that Poole is. Jordan was in the mix for the Most Improved Player award, posting 18.5 PPG this year from 12.0 PPG a year prior. As one of the players most likely to earn his first All-Star berth in 2023, Poole’s deep-range shooting would give the Lakers some much-needed offense from the perimeter. With Russ and LeBron attacking defenses, Poole will have the luxury of having open shots consistently.

The Purple and Gold will also help Jonathan Kuminga become the two-way stud he can become. As a bundle of talent, being surrounded by LeBron James and a no-nonsense head coach in Darvin Ham would do wonders for his career. Lakers fans are ready for a change, and even if they are grateful to Anthony Davis for helping them win a championship in 2020, seeing him walk away for a package of three elite contributors would immediately wash away feelings of nostalgia.

The NBA is a brutal league built on winning at all costs, and that is even more accentuated with the Lakers franchise. The Purple and Gold make no apologies for making big decisions that can be polarizing, and Anthony Davis is nowhere near the untouchable level of LeBron James, and as such, he should be traded for the sake of the team. Knowing the Lakers fans as they are, they certainly won’t mind. 

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