When Anthony Davis demanded a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged as his favorite landing spot. Since the 2018 NBA offseason, the Lakers have been frequently linked to Davis. The rumors that he’s headed to Los Angeles heated up when he hired LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, as his new representative.
Days before the February NBA trade deadline, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka aggressively pursued Anthony Davis when he officially became available on the trading block. The Lakers offered their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac to the Pelicans, showing how determined they are in adding Davis to their roster this season.
The Lakers’ trade package for Anthony Davis would have given the Pelicans enough assets to start rebuilding their team. Unfortunately, the February NBA trade deadline passed with Davis remaining as a member of the Pelicans. In the Open Floor podcast, Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated and Ben Golliver of the Washington Post discussed if the Pelicans made the right decision to pass on the Lakers’ massive offer for Davis.
Sharp strongly believes that refusing to trade Anthony Davis to Los Angeles before the February NBA trade deadline is a “smart move” for the Pelicans, adding that the Lakers’ offer, even with the inclusion of future first-round picks, “isn’t very good.”
“New Orleans, I think that they were really smart to turn down that Lakers package. It just isn’t very good unless you’re really in on Brandon Ingram. I really do think Ingram is pretty good and takes more heat than he deserves, but he’s not someone I would feel comfortable building a new era around. And people kept talking about the Lakers putting in two front-round picks or three first-round picks. If you’re trading Anthony Davis to a team that always has LeBron, those picks are going to be pretty bad and next to worthless. “
When the Lakers pulled out from the trade negotiation with New Orleans, Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps reportedly had a conversation with Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge regarding a potential deal centered on Anthony Davis next summer. The Celtics are the only NBA team that could beat the Lakers in terms of trade assets.
In the deal that would send Anthony Davis to Boston, the Pelicans are expected to demand a trade package including Jayson Tatum. The Celtics refused to give a specific trade package to the Pelicans, but Ainge reportedly told Demps that everyone on their roster will be available next summer.