According to the report, the Lakers changed their offer on Monday to include Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope along with the previously reported trade package of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. They were also willing to offer two first-round draft picks and salary relief by taking on Solomon Hill’s contract, which is guaranteed through 2020.
It seems Davis himself was a fan of that offer:
Appears that Anthony Davis is a fan of the final offer from LA to NOLA pic.twitter.com/zKLefEWF5p— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 5, 2019
The Pelicans were reportedly less enthused and instead asked for six to eight draft picks, according to Turner’s report. As a result, the Lakers have decided to move on for now. Here’s what one person with knowledge of the ongoing trade discussions told Turner about the situation:
“They wanted more and more and more,” said one person. “There was no more to give. They had cap-relief with Hill being in the deal. But the more they wanted the more it because outrageous and unrealistic.”
One person said the Pelicans are hopeful that if Davis isn’t traded by the NBA’s Thursday noon (Pacific Time) deadline, that he’ll want to stay and play for the Pelicans going forward.
“But that’s not going to happen,” the person said. “AD is not changing his mind.”
However, despite this report, there is still a chance that the Lakers re-engage in trade talks with the Pelicans for Davis ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 7, according to Adrian Wojnarwoski of ESPN, it’s just highly unlikely.
If Pelicans want to counter the Lakers most recent offer on Davis, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are obviously anxious to find a pathway for a trade. This is a negotiation tactic on behalf of Lakers, who have wanted New Orleans to show more initiative in the process. https://t.co/A18urbnu6h— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2019
In other words, the Lakers were hopeful that the Pelicans were seriously considering moving Davis to Los Angeles, but as time went on, it became evident that they were just hiking up the price for Davis because of the Lakers’ well-documented interest. The asking price became laughable and the Lakers walked away, which is the right call.
At the end of the day, team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka can say they put their best offer on the table for Davis. They literally offered their entire young core, two draft picks and salary relief for one player. That’s more than any other team has gotten for a star that wants out in similar situations during recent seasons.
While teams like the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks will be able to offer a combination of draft picks and young players this summer, few — if any — teams will be able to offer the volume of players the Lakers offered the Pelicans. Not just players, but legitimate NBA starters, all under the age of 25.
It’s possible that a trade is still completed before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 7, but if the asking price from the Pelicans stays where it’s at, the Lakers should sleep well at night knowing they did all they could within reason. As a fan of the team, that’s about all you can ask for.