LeBron James caused chaos by saying he wanted to play with Anthony Davis. The timing of Davis’ trade request was a thinly veiled attempt to get to the Lakers. Once the Lakers and Pelicans began talks, Los Angeles clearly negotiated through the media. Then, Lakers president Magic Johnson said New Orleans didn’t act in good faith.
Think the Pelicans resent all that?
They still have Davis and will look to trade him this summer. He’ll become a free agent in 2020, but they control where he’ll spend next season.
Marc J. Spears on ESPN, filming in Los Angeles:
I have been told that there’s no way Anthony Davis is coming here, through the Pelicans.
They’re just not going to do it.
Michael Wilbon confirmed he heard the same.
Maybe the Pelicans really believe they’ll keep Davis from Los Angeles no matter what. And maybe they’ll be that stubborn.
But a lot will change before New Orleans trades Davis.
The Pelicans will hire a general manager, and that person could person could view the Lakers’ offer differently. Even if Pelicans owner Gayle Benson and executive vice president Mickey Loomis are driving the refusal to deal with the Lakers, a new general manager will have the opportunity to persuade them otherwise.
The Lakers could also land a high pick in the lottery. In the unlikely event they get the No. 1 pick and chance to draft Zion Williamson, would New Orleans really still shun them?
The Celtics are most likely to land Davis. They have the best assets and will probably make the best offer.
But if the Lakers somehow make a better offer, it’d be a mistake for the Pelicans to reject it out of spite. New Orleans should look out for itself. That means taking the best offer, no matter who makes it.