After roughly 24 hours of posturing, leaking information for leverage and whatever the hell else has gone on, the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans and touched base to at least initiate trade negotiations for Anthony Davis, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Lakers and Pelicans executives have connected on the phone concerning Anthony Davis, league sources tell ESPN. They're expected to talk again prior to next week's trade deadline.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
The L.A. Times’ Brad Turner (who has been really good on this deal, by the way) chimed in with a couple extra details.
Lakrs president Magic Johnson and Pelicans GM Dell Demps spoke on the phone Tuesday about to proceed with a deal regarding Anthony Davis, who has requested a trade, per sources— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 31, 2019
Lakers president Magic Johnson and the Lakers then presented five different trade scenarios to Demps on Wednesday and are waiting to hear back from Demps about which interest him the most, per sources.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 31, 2019
It will be interesting to see what all has been discussed in these various scenarios, but it’s good to hear at least this little bit of progress has been made. It was always fairly ridiculous that Dell Demps would ignore only the Lakers’ calls on this, as it cut off communication that might help both sides gain an understanding of each other.
Turner also threw this little nugget into the fold, which is quite easily the most interesting detail to come out as of yet.
Lakers want to get deal done and have no plans on trying to outbid Celtics during the summer because Lakers will then pursue other free agents besides AD.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 31, 2019
Now, that could very easily could be posturing on the part of the Lakers, just so that they aren’t taken complete advantage of, but this has ramifications beyond just New Orleans and L.A.’s dealings.
Let’s say this isn’t a bluff and the Lakers legitimately feel this way. That would render all of Rich Paul’s dealings essentially useless — something Paul won’t be particularly happy with. As Paul and Magic both have to work with each other for the next few years, however, I would be shocked if this stance wasn’t also run by Klutch Sports before it was leaked.
This in no way guarantees a deal is made in the week left for the trade deadline, mind you. There are all kinds of hoops to jump through here and New Orleans has pretty good incentive to hold out for the summer when the Boston Celtics and other teams can drum up value. All this means is that Demps has stopped allowing personal feelings get in the way of doing his job.
Now that communication has begun, expect all kinds of updates to come in quickly on this story. We’ll update date you as that happens.