Lakers Pull Out of Trade Talks With the Pelicans over “Ridiculous Requests”

By Wilson Chaney

The Davis fiasco is finally over, for now.

On the morning of February 6th, 2019, the Lakers have pulled from trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans due to “ridiculous requests”. As mentioned by Davis’ agent Rich Paul a week ago, the forward’s destination is clearly Los Angeles and is seemingly trying his best to force himself out of an already disappointing marriage with The Pelicans. Davis, 25, is ushering in his prime this season with averages of 29.3 points, 13.3 reb, and 2.6 blocks.

As he promised three years ago, Magic Johnson, the president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, said he was going to bring back the glory to the Lakers’ name. More notably, he promised, he will bring in 2-3 superstars to LA in the process. So far Johnson has completed one-third of his plan with the acquirement of Lebron James this past summer. However, his first season with the team has been disappointing so far, as they are only 10th in the Western Conference.

With the competition tightening in the West, the pressure is on the Lakers’ front office to make a move to salvage the season and have an opportunity of making the playoffs.Despite their high expectations, the Lakers experienced a setback in the quest to sign a second superstar- Anthony Davis.

The final deal the Lakers offered the Pelicans for Davis was Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, 2 first round picks, and to take on Solomon Hills’ 4 year, $44 million dollar contract (regarded as one of the worst FA signings in recent memory). New Orleans surprisingly declined and asked for two extra first round picks along with Ivica Zubac and Lance Stephenson. It was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, per ESPN, that Magic considered offering this to the Pelicans but then reconsidered, causing him to ultimately back out altogether.

There has been a stirring belief in the NBA that the Pelicans are trying their best not to give in to the demands to the Lakers. Multiple GMs have told Dell Demps, General Manager of the Pelicans, to make a deal with Los Angeles. Gregg Popovich has also reached out to Demps, advising him “not to cave in to the Lakers demands”.

Knowing that Davis wants to go to the Lakers, it seems that the front office is either doing a major disservice to themselves by holding him hostage until he is a free agent (and they receive nothing in return), or they are just trying to keep the Lakers from improving altogether and want to ship Davis to a team that will most likely be a rental year before he eventually signs with the Lakers.    

The deal that was offered by Magic was regarded as one of the best offers New Orleans could receive for Davis. However, the Lakers will have to wait until this summer when Davis is a free agent to offer him the max.

The Lakers are in competition with the Celtics, Knicks , Bucks, and Clippers for the services of the young superstar.