The Lakers’ have “pulled out” of discussions to acquire All-Star big man Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday, Manila time) citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the situation who described the Pelicans’ trade requests as “outrageous.”
The news broke almost exactly 48 hours ahead of the NBA’s 3 p.m. ET Thursday (Friday, Manila time) trade deadline.
Breaking: The Lakers are no longer looking to acquire Anthony Davis before Thursday’s trade deadline. New Orleans Pelicans were looking for six to eight draft picks. https://t.co/f0NzsFTP53
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) February 5, 2019
According to the Times, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson told Pelicans general manager Dell Demps on Tuesday morning that L.A. had made its best offer and was unwilling to sweeten things.
The Pelicans — whose requests evolved over recent days — were seeking six to eight draft picks in the Davis deal knowing that that many first- and second-round picks were more than the Lakers would offer, the Times source said.
At one point, the Lakers agreed to a blockbuster that would’ve sent youngsters Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Ivica Zubac, along with veteran guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first-round picks to New Orleans, while also offering salary-cap relief.
Even Davis was impressed, apparently.
AD liked the offer 👀 pic.twitter.com/lVo5cOJU3h
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) February 5, 2019
Several alterations were made to the trade along the way before things fell apart Tuesday.
“They wanted more and more and more,” the Times source said. “There was no more to give. … But the more they wanted the more it because outrageous and unrealistic.”
There was speculation that the Pelicans’ shifting demands were part of their hope that Davis wouldn’t be traded by the deadline and might change his mind and decide to stay in New Orleans.
“But that’s not going to happen,” the Times source said. “AD is not changing his mind.”
However, if the deal is dead ahead of the deadline, the Lakers have asserted that they will not get into a bidding war for Davis this summer, most likely with the Celtics, who must wait until July 1 to make any deal for Davis because of Kyrie Irving’s contract, per the NBA’s Rose Rule.