The Pelicans are rumored to have deliberately sabotaged the Lakers’ chemistry through Anthony Davis trade negotiations. Lakers president Magic Johnson said the Pelicans didn’t act in good faith during trade talks. Lakers owner Jeannie Buss called it “fake news” Los Angeles offered its entire roster despite nine players – Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley – reportedly being offered in various proposals.
Are the Lakers the victim here?
Throughout the two-week saga stemming from Davis’ trade request, the Pelicans became frustrated about how public the Lakers-initiated discussions had become.
“We get off the phone with (the Lakers), and a minute later, offers are out there,” one Pelicans source with direct knowledge of discussions told The Athletic.
Quibble with the methodology, but the Lakers were right to strongly pursue Davis. He’s a special player.
They’re just dealing with the fallout now.
Presumably, the Lakers will try again to acquire Davis this summer. How will they build trust with New Orleans then?
The Pelicans will likely have the same owner, Gayle Benson, and same New Orleans Saints influence that dug in their heels against sending Davis to Los Angeles. Though general manager Dell Demps got fired, interim and potential long-term replacement Danny Ferry was in the organization for prior trade talks, too.
The Celtics are in the driver’s seat for Davis because of their rich pool of assets. The Lakers’ disconnect with the Pelicans doesn’t hurt, either.