(This was originally a response to a Bill Simmons column when the Ringer was on Medium.)
I’m sorry to break this to you Bill, but in 2020, Anthony Davis becomes a free agent at age of 27. Here’s a snap shot of the league at that time:
The East, without Lebron to dominate, has descended into a Lord of the Flies-style chaos, as each team will stoop to anything to advance. Marcin Gortat, Kelly Olynyk and Dwyane Wade have opened a martial arts studio specializing in “accidental” arm bars and WWE wrestling moves that throw players into their teammates’ knees. The East becomes the dominant conference because every Western coach rests his starters when they travel across the Mississippi.
In the West, seven of the best NBA All-Stars will be 30 or over, and Greg Popovich will be a vintner somewhere in Napa Valley. There will be little left of the power teams in the Western Conference, except an aging Golden State team cracking under the pressure of Draymond Green approaching the over/under for nut punches exceeding his uniform number.
The Lakers core will consist of Paul George (29), Lonzo Ball (22), Brandon Ingram (22 — with 30 more pounds of muscle), and unselfish role players like Larry Nance, Jr. (27), Tarik Black (28) and Zu Blocka!(23). Russell (24), Randle (25) and Clarkson (27) either learn how to play with consistent defensive intensity or get turned into a solid two-way shooting guard.
Add to that mix the best young coach in the West, the legend of Magic and the flowing style of West Coast hoops, and your worst nightmare is about to happen.
Davis will not only search for the team with the best championship possibilities, but also the one that will make him the biggest brand in basketball, and in all things entertainment…