Press Association Di Maria is currently on leave after his exertions with Argentina at the Copa America, but Van Gaal insists the midfielder will fly to the US on Saturday, as had been originally planned before the tour started. “He will come on July 25,” the United manager said. Van Gaal refused to dismiss reports United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward met with PSG officials to discuss Di Maria’s future on Tuesday. “I cannot answer that,” the Dutchman said. “It is a process. When we think we have to say something, we will.” Di Maria has also encountered problems off the field since his move to England. He and his family moved out of their Cheshire home in February following an attempted burglary. Senior sources at United recently downplayed suggestions Di Maria was unsettled in Manchester, but that has not stopped cash-rich PSG from being linked with a move for the player. Louis van Gaal still expects Angel di Maria to join Manchester United’s tour of the United States on Saturday despite reports the £59.7million midfielder is closing in on a transfer to Paris St Germain. As well as Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Javier Hernandez are also expected to join the squad on Saturday, when United play their third tour match – against Barcelona at the Levi’s Stadium in California. The trio are not expected to play in the match against Barcelona but will be available for United’s last match – against PSG – which could prove interesting if Van Gaal selects Di Maria. Barcelona’s Pedro is in the frame as a potential new recruit if Van Gaal decides to cut his losses on Di Maria. The Dutchman had hinted he was ready to sign a “surprise” striker at the weekend. But Van Gaal had changed his tune somewhat after United had beaten San Jose Earthquakes 3-1. “I don’t know if I want to buy a striker,” Van Gaal said. “I have read in the media that the striker is a surprise. No. That is not what I said. You are saying that. No. I mean something else.” Memphis Depay scored his first goal for United while Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira also found the net in San Jose, but Van Gaal was not a happy man after the final whistle. “The first half, I was satisfied,” said Van Gaal, who made 10 changes at half-time. “But the second half I think we played very badly. A lot of unnecessary ball losses. The only highlight was the goal from Pereira.” Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger was singled out for criticism. “He was also bad,” Van Gaal said of the £15million signing. “The one highlight was Pereira.” Goalkeeper David de Gea, who sat out the first game in Seattle against Club America, did not play against San Jose. The Real Madrid target warmed up prior to the match, but he did not come off the bench at half-time and Sam Johnstone remained in goal for the whole 90 minutes.. Van Gaal hopes the Spaniard will be fit to play against Barcelona in Santa Clara this weekend. “I have good hope that he can play against Barcelona,” Van Gaal said. “He was still injured. Anders Lindegaard was also injured. It was difficult, so I said, ‘Go stand in the goal so we had a point of direction for my attackers, but don’t do anything to risk your injury more’. “I hope that he can play on Saturday. I think he can play on Saturday.” Di Maria failed to impress at United last season following his record move to Old Trafford from Real Madrid. The 27-year-old spent a large chunk of the second half of the season on the bench at United and he has subsequently been linked with a big-money move to PSG.
MORE: NBA Twitter reacts to Anthony Davis tradeWhile the move pushes Los Angeles and New Orleans in different directions, it accomplishes the intended goals for both sides. It could be a rare win-win trade, but the final grades won’t be known until years down the road. The draft compensation in this deal could stretch all the way out to 2025.Here are the reported details of the trade and a breakdown of the short- and long-term ramifications for each side.Anthony Davis trade gradesLakers receive: Anthony DavisPelicans receive: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, three first-round picks2019 No. 4 pick2021 first-round pick protected for Nos. 9-30 (unprotected in 2022)2023 first-round swap rights unprotected2024 first-round pick unprotected (option to defer to 2025)NBA DRAFT BIG BOARD: Ranking the top 60 prospectsLakers: A-The Lakers’ front office followed the flawless plan of running the franchise directly into the ground for a season and acquiring a superstar anyway. Must be nice. Jokes aside, team owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka knew they needed to bring AD to LA, and they got the job done.Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals in a lost season for New Orleans. Imagine what a properly motivated Davis will look like next to LeBron James. He is an ideal fit inside as a rim-runner and finisher offensively, and he can cover up for a lot of defensive shortcomings with his length and rim protection.The scary part? James could unlock more of Davis as an outside threat. Davis isn’t known as a long-range shooter (31.4 percent on 3-pointers for his career), but he did shoot 37.7 percent on 122 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers in 2018-19. If Davis manages to shoot 35-37 percent on deep attempts, that opens the floor and creates lethal pick-and-pop options.MORE: Here’s what Magic Johnson had to say about Davis tradeThis trade also immediately positions the Lakers as a player in free agency. Los Angeles will have $23.7 million or $32.5 million in room depending on the timing of the deal, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That space could be used to sign another star like Kemba Walker (already a rumored target), Kyrie Irving or Jimmy Butler. Walker seems to be more realistic at point guard because Irving is widely expected to sign with the Nets, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.Or, if the front office wants to fill out the roster, it could spread that money out over a number of role players. After all, the Lakers will only have James, Davis, Kuzma, Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga under contract once this trade goes through. We already saw what happened when the team had zero shooting on the floor. (Maybe call JJ Redick once free agency kicks off?)As for the future, Davis (26 years old) can take the reins from James (34) once Father Time finally catches up with him. Davis’ trade demand may have changed his reputation among fans and media, but don’t forget just how good this guy can be. He still has his full prime ahead of him.Over the last three seasons, Anthony Davis has:* more points than Steph Curry or Kevin Durant* more rebs than Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid* more steals than LeBron James or Klay Thompson* more blocks than Andre Drummond or Giannis Antetokounmpo* higher FT% than Bradley Beal— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 15, 2019But there’s a reason this trade isn’t an A+++. The Lakers gave up a ton of assets, and the Pelicans will essentially control their drafts for the next half-decade.There will be comparisons to the failed Dwight Howard-Steve Nash combo of 2012. The pick compensation will bring back memories of the 2013 Nets-Celtics that set Brooklyn back for years. There is at least the possibility things go south, forcing Davis to re-evaluate and consider leaving LA as a free agent in 2020. That would be a complete catastrophe. The counter to the traded-away-too-much argument: picks and prospects won’t matter if the Lakers win. Los Angeles had four top-10 picks from 2014-17 (Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Ingram and Ball) and didn’t hit on any of them. Plus, it’s freaking LeBron James and Anthony Davis, not a broken down Howard or old Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.MORE: After Davis trade, are Lakers favorites to win the West?With Kevin Durant (ruptured Achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) out for the majority (if not the entirety) of next season, the Warriors won’t be the Western Conference favorites. The championship window is open — and yes, that’s the expectation. The Lakers must maximize whatever James has left in the tank.The Lakers have two top-10 players and put themselves in a position to attack free agency as well. They are instant contenders. There are dark future scenarios in play, but for now, the lights will be shining bright at Staples Center with James and Davis leading the way.Pelicans: APelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin wasn’t involved in the nasty negotiations ahead of the February trade deadline. He brought a fresh perspective to New Orleans, and once it became clear he couldn’t persuade Davis to stay, he began searching for the best possible package.Consider this a massive victory for Griffin, who knows from his Cavs days just how desperate a team can be when it needs to build around James.Ball, Ingram and Hart are all intriguing prospects with potential to improve now that the drama is behind them. Remember, this core had been making progress under Luke Walton before James arrived.Jrue Holiday and Ball could be an elite defensive backcourt, as both players finished in the top 10 among point guards in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus. There are some concerns about Ingram’s blood-clot issue, but he should be fully recovered ahead of the 2019-20 season. Hart can be a valuable rotation piece off the bench.The primary source of excitement for the Pels, of course, is Zion Williamson, the assumed No. 1 selection in this year’s draft. The thought of Holiday stealing the ball and kicking ahead to Ball, who then lobs an alley-oop to a flying Williamson . . . oh yeah, this team will be high on the NBA League Pass rankings. New Orleans could use some additional shooting to create better spacing, but that’s a terrific start in a post-AD world.MORE: Biggest winners and losers from the Anthony Davis tradeAnd the Pelicans are far from done when it comes to the impact of this trade. There is already plenty of interest in the No. 4 pick they just acquired from the Lakers, and it could easily be flipped for another player. (One fun hypothetical from The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie: using the fourth overall pick to land Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen. He’d slide in perfectly next to Williamson.) If they keep it, a young forward like De’Andre Hunter or Jarrett Culver makes sense. The future draft swaps and protections sound complicated, but they basically give New Orleans options and chances at snagging stars with LA’s picks. Even shorter version: Griffin thinks the Lakers will be bad eventually.Though Davis will still be performing at a high level, James will be in his late 30s when those picks are in play. (His current contract runs through 2022.) If the Lakers find themselves in the lottery, this trade will shift dramatically in the Pelicans’ favor.Considering the Pelicans didn’t have much in the way of competing offers — the Celtics reportedly wouldn’t include Jayson Tatum in trade discussions — that is a wild haul regardless of what happens next. It finally happened. Anthony Davis is going to be a Laker.The Pelicans agreed to trade Davis to the Lakers on Saturday, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Los Angeles will send Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks (including this year’s No. 4 pick) to New Orleans. Kyle Kuzma, who had been a significant part of trade discussions, will stay in LA.