Earlier on Monday night, there was a report that the Lakers were “pessimistic” about their chances of getting a deal done for Anthony Davis before the NBA trade deadline.
Now we know why, as a couple of ESPN’s insiders reported that the Pelicans aren’t looking for a deal. They’re looking for a steal, and one that has the potential to reach the level of the Boston Celtics’ and Brooklyn Nets’ deal for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett if things go wrong, even if the Lakers are getting a far better player back in return:
Pels are waiting on Lakers to overwhelm them w/ an historic haul of picks. To Nola, that means Lakers offering 4 first-round and second-round picks as part of a Davis package. Pels want to be compensated - perhaps even overcompensated - to even consider a deal with LA now. https://t.co/Ft8rfe9EBZ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2019
Allow me to capitalize the key wording in @wojespn latest update: “Pels want to be compensated - perhaps even overcompensated - TO EVEN CONSIDER- a deal with LA now.”— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 5, 2019
FOUR first round picks and some more second rounders? On top of all the other stuff the Pelicans want — reportedly a package that includes Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and salary relief by taking on Solomon Hill’s contract — four first-rounders and a few more second rounders wouldn’t just be going all in for Davis: It would be potentially selling the safety net out from under you right when you’re about to walk a tightrope; you’d better have supreme confidence Davis and LeBron James can get you to the other side.
Are the Lakers that confident? Should they be? It may not matter, ultimately, because arguably just as big of a concern for the team right now is that the Pelicans clearly feel like they have leverage if they’re asking for all this stuff. Do the Lakers really want to set a potentially bad precedent by caving into their demands despite them not seeming to have ton of other options right now? Are there internal pressures that won’t allow them not to?
These are all questions that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka will have to answer with their actions over the next several days, and right now the only thing that’s clear is that the ride to the trade deadline is going to be a rollercoaster. Stay tuned here to keep up with all of it.