Before making a pair of small moves to add shooting at the NBA trade deadline in February, the Los Angeles Lakers famously went all-in for Anthony Davis, reportedly offering Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first-round picks.
For those keeping track, Davis is still with the Pelicans.
Those heavily reported trade rumors took their toll on the Lakers’ locker room, and even cost them a few games — games that could end up being the difference between them making and missing the playoffs. To call the whole situation detrimental to the team would be a gross understatement.
However, during a panel at the 13th Annual MIT Sloan Analytics Sports Conference, Lakers controlling owner and team president Jeanie Buss said the reports that her team offered the farm for Davis are untrue. She couldn’t say Davis’ name due to tampering rules, but given context, it’s clear who she was referring to:
Jeanie Buss calls “fake news” the reports that Lakers were prepared to trade “our entire roster” for “a certain player.”#SSAC19 #rebootingtherivalry— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) March 2, 2019
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard something along these lines.
During an appearance ESPN’s “The Jump” on Friday, Jackie MacMullan reported that she’s been hearing the same thing.
“My sources have told me within the last 48 hours that what we’ve heard the Lakers offered may not be true ... I think there’s some question about just how much did they offer. Did they even get a chance to offer anything?”
Granted, it’s possible MacMullan’s source was Buss, and considering MacMullan moderated the panel in which Buss said the reports weren’t true, some might even say it’s likely, but regardless, this is new information. The question then is, what does this mean for the Lakers if it’s true?
For starers, it means that all of the turmoil in the Lakers’ locker room was for basically nothing. Sure, a few players almost surely dangled in trade talks, but the reports of everyone being readily available might have been inaccurate.
It also means that the Lakers have yet to put their best offer forward for Davis, which could benefit them if they decide to re-engage in trade talks for Davis this summer. With the direction their season is headed, it would be surprising if they didn’t.
Then again, this could all just be damage control from the Lakers because of how bad the Pelicans made them look at the trade deadline. After all, the reports were that they got into a bidding war with themselves and lost. If you were the president of that team, wouldn’t you deny that was true too?
Regardless, none of this means anything for the Lakers this season. When the offseason rolls around, though, it could mean something. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.