Geltzeiler: Lakers At "Front Of Line" For Anthony Davis

If the Pelicans trade Davis, Los Angeles is a likely destination

Taz and the Moose
December 19, 2018 - 10:17 am

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Kevin Durant apparently has no interest in playing with LeBron James, calling the environment around him “toxic.” 

That perspective might not be unique to KD, either.

“There’s a reason Kyrie Irving asked out of Cleveland,” hoopscritic.com founder and Sirius XM NBA Radio host Brian Geltzeiler said on Taz & The Moose. “When you play with LeBron James, if you win, it's because of LeBron; if you lose, it’s because of the bums around him. That’s always the way it works.”

The Lakers (18-13) are currently the 4-seed in the Western Conference, but it’s difficult to see them contending for a championship – this year or next – without another bonafide star alongside James.

Magic Johnson recently said he didn’t want the Lakers to become Cleveland.

“What did he mean by that? He was taking a shot at LeBron’s supporting cast in Cleveland last year,” Geltzeiler said. “This is what happens when you end up being, for lack of a better term, one of LeBron’s minions. I think for the Lakers, a little bit of self-awareness is going to be important for them as they come into the trade deadline with the understanding that recruiting a free agent with LeBron there is going to be a lot harder than they thought it was going to be. Their route to getting another star to join LeBron is probably going to be through a trade. That’s something we’ve seen them kind of walk away from the last couple of years.”

Remember Paul George?

“They thought they had Paul George lined up but didn’t want to make a meaningful offer in Indiana,” Geltzeiler said. “We saw how that went. I would think that maybe at one point Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have to change their posture in the trade market.”

James, who turns 34 this month, is averaging 28.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists for the Lakers.

“Listen, if you can get LeBron, you take him every time,” Geltzeiler said. “There’s no doubt. But it’s going to be hard to recruit a star to come in as a free agent to play with him.”

Unless that star is Anthony Davis, who this year signed with James’ agent, Rich Paul.

“I think that’s not coincidental,” Geltzeiler said. “I think when you look at what’s happening in New Orleans, they thought they surrounded him with the right kind of team this year, but it was thin from the jump. They had a really nice group last year, but Rondo was a big part of it and he didn’t come back.”

Davis is averaging 28.0 points, 12.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.8 blocks and 1.8 steals – and the Pelicans are 15-16.

“The bottom line is this: they’re desperate right now,” Geltzeiler said. “Davis has one more year before he can opt out of his contract. If he decides he wants out and he tells the Pelicans, they got to be really careful because you could bang your head against the wall trying to do everything you can to keep him there and end up having what happened with Utah and Gordon Hayward, where he just leaves anyway. So if he’s giving you those indications, I think you have to absolutely look to deal him. The Lakers will go to the front of that line.”