The Lakers have reportedly landed Anthony Davis in a trade with the Pelicans. In order to help his future team, Davis waived his $4 million trade kicker, freeing up money for Los Angeles to land one more star to play alongside Davis and LeBron James. Andrew Sharp and The Washington Post's Ben Golliver discussed this decision and the future of the Lakers on the Open Floor podcast.
(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Andrew Sharp:Anthony Davis just waved his trade ticker. What do you think about that part of this? Because I feel like that's going to be controversial and a source of a lot of takes over the next few days.
Ben Golliver: To me it seems like the amount of earning potential that Anthony Davis has as a Laker over his career, it seems like four million dollars is peanuts. So to allow that to hold the franchise back in any way seemed like that would have been a mistake, and so I just don't always kind of assumed he was going to do that.
So that part didn't really bug me. I'll tell you what bugged me, though. Anthony Davis should not take LeBron. I think it's a very big move of LeBron to offer it. But Anthony Davis should politely decline. LeBron James is one of the all-time greats. He should not have to give up his number to accommodate anyone under any circumstances.
Sharp: The most fun part of his career was when he wore No. 6. As long as he goes back to No. 6, I'm pretty excited about this shift.
Golliver: think it's fine. I just don't want this to be a situation where LeBron felt he had to do it to appease Anthony Davis to make sure that trade kicker got declined or to make him comfortable with anything else.
Sharp: I am with you 100 percent. From the day we found out that he had to option away of the trade kicker and you could create an extra $4.5 million dollars that's a no brainer to me because of all the money that Anthony Davis is going to be making off the court.
And because if you're Anthony Davis and you want to be in L.A. long-term and this is the only summer they have where they can really add pieces around you and kind of solidify this foundation for the next few years, your life is going to be so much better if you waive that that kicker, and then have max cap space to come add another superstar. There are people out there who are acting like this is some kind of shady move on Rich Paul's part and he's representing LeBron's interests. This was a no brainer all along.
Golliver: Clearly he would not have waive that trade kicker for any team, right? And that's part of the leverage right superstars get to have. It's not quite the no-trade clause, but it's sort of like it if you're trying to steer him away from Boston or some other destination like that. It's a very helpful tool to have in your pocket, and I think you laid it out very well.
It's kind of short-term thinking, and I think it's also a good thing when you're looking at how could this thing go wrong. If Anthony Davis were to suffer a major injury that kind of changes his earning power heading into free agency next summer, well he's already got the built-in goodwill of doing a real solid for the Lakers front office, where there shouldn't be a negotiation on his next contract no matter what happens.
Sharp: Yeah, I agree. He's signing for a massive number next July regardless. And $4 million is not going to make or break his financial future.