Which team had the risker move? Lakers vs Nets
Who Dropped the Ball?
Both the Lakers and the Nets made huge waves this summer in free agency. Both teams had a huge part in making this the most hectic summer in NBA history. Primary speaking, they both now have star studded duos at the helm of their franchises. However which team addressed the questions that come up with their franchise?
As with any other decision questions must be answered before ultimately closing the deal. This is what makes a season so interesting after coming off a huge off season. Did the front office answer the questions correctly upon making the franchise changing decision? That’s exactly what the Lakers and Nets did this summer. They made a decision that will change their franchises for years to come. So who took the bigger risk?
Anthony Davis joins the Lakers
First, the Los Angeles Lakers made a trade for Anthony Davis. This however, didn’t come without a price. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart along with the future draft picks all were traded to New Orleans. You can see full trade details and analysis here. Moving on however, what were some of the risks that the Lakers took to get Davis?
Of course the Lakers will be great this year and have one of the best chances to win a title. However, does this deal work best for years to come? Will Davis stay for the long haul? His contract details state that the big man can opt out after the 2019-2020 season. The Lakers could very well make that decision easy for Davis if it came along with a championship; or perhaps it doesn’t work as planned and Davis wants a deal elsewhere. Davis would “definitely consider” a contract from his hometown Bulls team as he said during his interview with the Chicago Tribune. Will he be committed to the Lakers?
What could’ve been?
Now to move on to the other side of this deal. It’s no secret that the Lakers gave up a ton this summer. So the Pelicans now have, as mentioned before, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart. Which leaves you the question, how good could these guys be? Lonzo Ball is in need of a jump shot, however everything else is already fantastic. He’s a bigger guard that can dominate over smaller guards and could contribute nicely. Brandon Ingram can very easily be compared to a lite model of Kevin Durant, by way of his stature and shot making ability. Then of course, Josh Hart, he’s your solid contributor as a three and defense type player.
The Lakers could regret their decision if this deal doesn’t bring instant success. Talking in terms of championships, of course that’s the expectation this season. The purple and gold quite possibly could’ve gave up two All Stars this summer. The Lakers are now suddenly built on the short term, and it could be devastating. Which leaves everyone to wonder, what if the most horrible realities come true? No ring, Davis leaves, and/or injuries creep into the lineup. Big risk was taken by LA, however big upside.
Team up in Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Nets kicked off the massive summer of free agency with the first signings, and boy were they big. Kyrie Irving signs with the Nets via max deal, 4yr, $141 mil. Soon thereafter the headlines read, Kevin Durant signs with the Nets on a max deal, 4yr, $164 mil. In the same night they also added rebounding machine DeAndre Jordan. Despite the big payout day from the Nets, what questions arise from this historical night?
There was reportedly talk between KD and Kyrie about teaming up this summer. That’s why it was no surprise that when Kyrie fell first, Durant soon followed. The excitement is building for Nets fans heading into next season, however should we pump the breaks? Unfortunately, in game five in the finals against the Toronto Raptors, Kevin Durant tore his ACL in just the 2nd quarter. The history of the injury is not good at all. It has been regarded as one of, if not the worst, injury in sports. Some players can certainly attest to that analysis. So will Kevin Durant defy the odds and come back as himself? Time will only tell.
Trouble with Kyrie?
It shouldn’t go without notice that Kyrie isn’t the best locker room presence. Irving gets the media swirling around the team he’s on, and that was evident last year in Boston. Can Kyrie pull it together and provide good chemistry for the Nets? He can’t afford to get frustrated early, therefore he has to control his anger. Irving must keep in mind that KD isn’t gonna be present on the court next year. Kyrie as a leader doesn’t have the best history. He left Cleveland in search of a leader role, it was evident he wanted a team to call his. Boston gave him the leadership role and it didn’t have the best results. Can he coexist with KD when he comes back, and will it provide the desired results?
Only time will tell which team will come out on top with their risks. Will KD and AD stay healthy? Will Kyrie and LeBron mesh with their new teammates? Is a Finals show down imminent? Check back in 10 months to know the answer!