I read the SI article that (I think) spawned this idea and it was entertaining at least. https://www.si.com/nba/2018/02/13/anthony-davis-pelicans-lakers-lebron-james-paul-george-magic-johnson
Here is where it falls short:
Ball, Ingram and Kuzma (and Hart?) are not better assets than the picks/players the C's have. They just aren't.
Would you rather have Ingram or the LaKings pick? Ball or Tatum? Kuzma or the Memphis pick? Most of these are close in asset value, but to a rebuilding team, or a new front office, the allure of making picks and longer term team control is high.
Additionally, this whole idea is predicated on George and James coming, far from a forgone conclusion.
Lots of teams could put together packages around young talented players and high draft picks. The only team that has those assets in addition to talented veterans and a winning team right now is Boston. We are a team that, without any FA what-ifs, can offer the Pelicans one or two very attractive wing prospects, a likely top-5 pick in 2019, and likely lottery pick in 19/20/21 via Memphis. The Lakers can't offer this years pick, and any of their picks in subsequent year would be compromised value-wise by having Davis and two other max free agents.
It really doesn't make any sense unless you think Demps just does this to save his job and try to sell tickets to the Ball family circus.
My genuine reaction is that lots of other teams, aside from the Celtics, can make compelling offers to the Pelicans for Davis. The problem is that they won't, because only teams that can offer premium assets and still have a team Davis wants to play for will be offering anything at all. We're on the very short list of teams that can do that. Depending on FA, the Lakers might be too. I just think even if everything breaks right for LA we still have a better offer.
The only thing I can see really competing with our offer to NOLA is if some team with a younger unicorn wants to bet on Davis. It obviously won't happen but something like: http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yahytocq
They get off of Holiday's contract for slightly shorter deals (and worse players), get KAT under team control for 2 years, and kick off a rebuild around him. Minnesota gets the better player, upgrades their PG and moves in to actual contention, along with luxury tax for breakfast lunch and dinner. http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yaqowhf3
It would be very Knicksy to move their own pick, KP and probably a future pick for Davis. Go Dolan go!