The NBA landscape has been shaken to its core after Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Pelicans have agreed to a trade to send Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and 3 first round picks, including the 4th overall pick in this year’s draft. That’s a major haul for the Pelicans, who look to kick-start a rebuild focused around the probable number one pick, Zion Williamson.
The Lakers gave up a lot to acquire Davis, who will become an unrestricted free agent next season. However, the Lakers were one of the teams that Davis had on his list of organizations that he’d be willing to resign with. With the team not being the first option for many of the big fish free agents in the upcoming class, a move like this was required so that they wouldn’t waste the final years of LeBron James’ career.
A deal of this magnitude impacts every franchise around the association, including the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers have 2 major free agents that they need to bring back in Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. Butler has already been linked to the Lakers. Now that they have Anthony Davis, is Butler a bigger flight risk than before?
With Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both going down with season-ending injuries, Butler immediately moves up on the list of targets for the Lakers. Plus, teaming up with Davis and James in the City of Angels seems like a dream come true for just about anyone. The Sixers are going to have to pull out every trick in their bag to bring him back to Philly.
To add fuel to the fire, Butler liked an Instagram post from Bleacher Report that shared the news about Anthony Davis being traded to the Lakers.
Jimmy Butler leaving Philly for LA could also create some issues in the Sixers quest to resign Tobias Harris. With one less All-Star on the team, would Harris be inclined to go elsewhere? A team like the Nets, especially if they sign Kyrie Irving, could give him the chance to compete and be one of the top dogs on the team.
The Lakers could also convince other free agent targets of the Sixers to choose them over Philly. Guys like Darren Collison or Danny Green could be swayed by the Hollywood lights and the opportunity to play with James and Davis. Although Simmons and Embiid are great players, they’re not sure-fire Hall of Famers like James and Davis.
This news throws a wrench in everyone’s summer plans, perhaps most of all, the Sixers. They could suddenly find themselves second on Butler and Harris’ lists of suitors and be back to square one. Even though they’d still have Simmons and Embiid, not bringing back at least one of Butler or Harris would be detrimental to the team’s championship aspirations. The Anthony Davis trade has completely changed the course of this off-season and the Sixers are somehow stuck in the middle of the storm.
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