Before the February NBA trade deadline, All-Star center Anthony Davis became the center of controversy when he informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he has no intention of signing the contract extension that they were planning to offer this summer and wants to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship. Upon learning of Davis’s trade request, then-Lakers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka immediately made a move to bring Davis to Los Angeles.
During that time, the Lakers reportedly tried to offer some of their young players, like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart, to acquire Anthony Davis from the Pelicans. Unfortunately, the Lakers were unable to secure a deal as the Pelicans decided to wait for the 2019 NBA offseason to deal Davis. The failed Davis trade undeniably contributed to the Lakers’ struggle in the 2018-19 NBA season. In a recent interview with Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo revealed that the Davis trade talks didn’t only affect the young players, but also the veterans.
“Even some of the old guys were affected,” Rondo said. “I can’t say a name, but I remember me and the guy were on the bench for the Atlanta game right before the [All-Star] break. The guy was cussing and talking bad about the situation during the game.”
Including some of the veterans in the trade package was necessary for the Lakers since their young players’ contracts won’t be able to match Anthony Davis’ salary. Rajon Rondo admitted that he has also heard his name being mentioned in several trade rumors, but he said that he’s already “kind of numb to it.” After being part of every trade discussion during his stint with the Boston Celtics, Rondo said that he already knows how to deal with those type of situations.
Rajon Rondo provided some context about the effect Anthony Davis trade rumors had on the Lakers. pic.twitter.com/Sw6XzJdoXW— ESPN (@espn) June 8, 2019
If there’s someone who’s most affected by the Anthony Davis trade talks, Rajon Rondo believes it’s their young guys. Aside from the limited information they know about the cruel side of the NBA, Rondo said it’s very hurtful for them that the player they grew up idolizing, LeBron James, wanted them traded for an established superstar.
“Every guy on our team, LeBron was their favorite player growing up,” Rondo said. “Everyone had the shoes, his jersey. You’re the biggest fan in the world. It’s like you’re playing with MJ, and then you get there, and it’s like your mom and dad, or the person that you looked up to and idolized, doesn’t want you.”
The Lakers definitely know how their young players and veterans felt when they heard their names being mentioned in the failed Anthony Davis trade discussion before the February NBA trade deadline. However, regardless of their feeling or what other people will say, the Lakers are still expected to do everything they can to surround LeBron James with quality players.
When the 2018-19 NBA season is officially over, the Lakers are planning to resume their pursuit of Davis and chase a superstar who will be available on the free agency market this summer.