From the start, sources with an understanding of New Orleans’ thinking on an Anthony Davis trade have told me the Pelicans were in no rush to make a move. They were willing to let that play out. That has not changed despite the Kristaps Porzingis trade taking the Knicks out of the running for Davis, or rumors that Kyrie Irving could bolt Boston for New York, altering the Celtics’ plans.
Earlier this week the Pelicans leaked that they were unhappy with the Lakers’ “lowball” offers, which could have been a signal to the Lakers to step up their game. The Lakers reportedly offered two of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, plus either Rajon Rondo and/or Michael Beasley.
Now Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner report the Pelicans are looking at a counteroffer.
The Pelicans are considering making a counter offer that would ask for two first-round picks and add a Pelicans player to the deal, according to people with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
I know Ganguli and Turner, both are well-connected pros, but here’s my concern: When two reporters based in Los Angeles who cover the Lakers come out with a report about what New Orleans is going to do, I’m skeptical.
That the Pelicans would ask for multiple first-round picks in the trade certainly is logical, but remember if the Lakers have Davis those picks are going to be low first rounders. Even this year, if Davis is traded before the deadline it is expected the Lakers would make up the two games they are back now and this would not be a lottery pick (in what is generally considered a down draft after the top pick anyway).
The Pelicans ideally will want their trading partner to take on Solomon Hill‘s contract, which would likely mean Kentavious Caldwell-Pope coming back to New Orleans in a hypothetical deal.
On top of that, the Pels would want three or four of those young Lakers.
And even with all that, why are the Pelicans in a rush to do the deal now? The Lakers’ interest in Davis isn’t going away. They will be there around the draft and in July (when Boston can get into the mix).
Whether a deal gets done by 3 ET next Thursday or not, expect a lot of rumors to be flying between now and then.