Following over a week of discussions, the Los Angeles Lakers have pulled out of trade negotiations to acquire center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, citing “outrageous” demands from the Pelicans. That’s according to a report Tuesday by Los Angeles Times writer Broderick Turner.
According to the report, which cited “a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly,” Lakers president Magic Johnson told New Orleans general manager Dell Demps Tuesday that the Lakers had already made their best offer ahead of the Thursday NBA trade deadline.
The Pelicans, per the Los Angeles Times report, asked for ” six to eight draft picks” from the Lakers, including four first round picks. It’s not clear if that was in addition to players currently on the Los Angeles roster. The Lakers, per the Los Angeles Times, have offered young players Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac — as well as veteran Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first round picks — in exchange for Davis and Solomon Hill. However, New Orleans reportedly rejected that proposal.
Another report Tuesday, by ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, stated that the Lakers are “still glad to engage with the Pelicans on an Anthony Davis trade, but no longer want to bid against themselves.” Woj added that the Lakers are awaiting a counterproposal.
Breaking: The Lakers are no longer looking to acquire Anthony Davis before Thursday's trade deadline. New Orleans Pelicans were looking for six to eight draft picks. https://t.co/J2AEfrsuST— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 5, 2019
If Davis isn’t traded by Thursday’s deadline of noon Pacific, he will not be able to be traded again until after the conclusion of the season. Once the season is over, Davis will be eligible to sign a “supermax” contract, one worth over $200 million, with the team that he’s on at the time. If he doesn’t sign an extension, Davis will be eligible for free agency in the summer of 2020.
The Lakers’ current star, LeBron James, addressed the Davis issue in the Los Angeles Times article.
“I kind of tend not to play much fantasy basketball, that’s how I’ve always been,” James told the newspaper. “If something were to occur with our team, whether it’s him or it’s somebody else throughout the trade deadline, we’ll approach it then. But right now this is the group that we have and we’re missing a key point of our team right now with Zo [Ball] being out so we have to win ballgames.”
Davis, according to Monday’s report, would be willing to sign long-term with four teams — the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the New York Knicks.