Anthony Davis Pelicans Lakers
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers guards Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during a 112-104 Laker win at Staples Center on December 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images

With player movement expected to alter the landscape of the NBA in the 2019 offseason, several teams around the league have dream scenarios in mind that could make them immediate championship contenders. The Los Angeles Clippers, for instance, would love to sign both Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant in free agency. The New York Knicks are hoping to sign both Durant and Kyrie Irving, in addition to potentially trading for Anthony Davis.

The Los Angeles Lakers have a similar trio in mind. L.A. already has their superstar with LeBron James under contract for at least two more years. With room under the salary cap to sign one max free agent to go along with promising young players and the No.4 overall pick in the draft, a core of James, Irving and Davis is at least in play.

The idea that Los Angeles could have all three players to start next season was first introduced in January when Irving made amends with James and Davis informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he wanted to be dealt. It’s become more realistic now that the Lakers got some lottery luck and rumors that Irving will consider reuniting with James are starting to heat up.

But how likely are the Lakers to successfully execute this master plan? The answer seems to be not very, considering other contenders have a much better chance to acquire the stars Los Angeles is targeting.

Let’s start with Irving since salary cap restrictions would only allow him to join the Lakers before a Davis trade.

The point guard is expected to meet with Los Angeles this summer. The addition of Jason Kidd to the Lakers’ new coaching staff could only help their pursuit of James’ former teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Most importantly, the odds of Irving accepting more money to stay with the Boston Celtics took a major blow when the team was mercilessly bounced from the second round of the playoffs in five games.

Some reports indicate it’s still a long shot that Irving will actually decide to team up with James again, especially when he has the Knicks as an option. Maybe Irving and James have reconciled, but he is very good friends with Durant, whom just about everyone seems to believe is headed to New York. The Knicks are Irving’s hometown team, and if he decides to join them that could actually make New York the favorites in the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes.

Boston can make New Orleans the most compelling offer for Davis. The Celtics are much less likely to present the Pelicans with such a trade package if Irving leaves in free agency.

A strong argument can be made that a Lakers’ offer of the No.4 pick, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart is better than anything the Knicks could put on the table. That might not matter to New Orleans ownership, which had little interest in sending Davis to Los Angeles during the season and reportedly hasn’t changed its stance on the matter.

If the Lakers had somehow won the draft lottery, it would be easy to see the Pelicans accepting an offer that revolved around Zion Williamson. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, New Orleans is going to draft the Duke star, and L.A. has the fourth pick in what many believe to be a draft that only includes three potential stars.

The Lakers will also pursue Durant and Leonard in a summer that could prove to be the wildest in NBA history. Lesser stars like Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker might be more likely options for Los Angeles.