The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most active teams at trying to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. In a surprising turn of events, though, they have reportedly pulled out of the trade talks for the star big man.
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports the Lakers are not having any more conversations with the Lakers about Davis because of "outrageous" trade requests from the Pelicans. Lakers president Magic Johnson told Pelicans GM Dell Demps on Tuesday morning that Los Angeles had made its best offer but that the Lakers were not willing to add anything else and would be moving on.
Here's more from Turner on the turn in the negotiations:
The Lakers were not going to give the Pelicans the six to eight draft picks they wanted for Davis, the person said, knowing that the four first-round picks and second-round picks were more than the Lakers would offer.
Late Monday night, the Lakers changed their offer at the request of the Pelicans, two people said.
The Lakers had agreed to send their entire young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Ivica Zubac to the Pelicans, as well as veteran guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the people said.
The Lakers were also winning to also send the Pelicans two first-round draft picks.
“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.”
The Lakers were willing to give the Pelicans salary-cap relief by taking back Solomon Hill (who has a year left on his deal after this season at $12.7 million). L.A. had also made several changes to their proposals to the Pelicans, talking out a package that included Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson, Turner reports.
In addition, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Lakers are willing to engage in trade talks with the Pelicans, but don't want to simply keep bidding against themselves. In short, the Lakers are looking for the Pelicans to show more initiative in the process.
The Lakers are still glad to engage with the Pelicans on an Anthony Davis trade, but no longer want to bid against themselves, league sources tell ESPN. Lakers are waiting for Pelicans to make a counter-proposal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2019
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
Early Tuesday, Wojnarowski reported the Lakers were pessimistic about a Davis trade getting done before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The Lakers made a new offer for Davis yesterday with a trade that would have included multiple young players, future first-round picks and more. However, the Lakers have failed to get the Pelicans to budge much in dealing Davis.
Last night, ESPN reported that the Pelicans were seeking an offer that would overwhelm them with future Draft picks. The long and short of it all, it seems, is the clock is ticking and the Pelicans do not seem to be in a big hurry to deal Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. For the Pelicans, the "overwhelming" card in the deal would look like this: four first-round and second-round picks as part of the trade package as New Orleans wants to be compensated for trading Davis to the Lakers now (instead of in the summer).
Lakers president Magic Johnson and Pelicans GM Dell Demps had multiple conversations Monday about trade packages, none of which obviously netted Davis. On Monday, per multiple reports, an extended list of teams Davis would be willing to re-sign with emerged. That list consists of the Lakers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and LA Clippers.
The Bucks and Clippers, per multiple reports, have yet to make an offer for Davis while the Knicks have not re-engaged the Pelicans in discussions. New York did try to land Davis with a deal centered on Kristaps Porzingis, but that was rejected by New Orleans, Wojnarowski reports. The Knicks dealt Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last Thursday.
The Boston Celtics, per ESPN, are determined to land Davis after the season and GM Danny Ainge has directly urged Demps to wait until the offseason. The Celtics have a treasure trove of assets -- young players, future Draft picks and more -- that could entice New Orleans to make a deal and Ainge is eager to land Davis to pair him with All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, ESPN reports.
The Lakers have some factors working against them, per Wojnarowski, as the Celtics wait in the wings. Of particular concern for L.A.'s bid for Davis is whether or not Boston might include young talent Jayson Tatum in an offseason deal that would include first-round picks. When Davis' list of teams came out yesterday, the Celtics were not among them and Davis' father has been vocal about not wanting his son to play in Boston.
After the Pelicans' 109-107 home loss to the Indiana Pacers, coach Alvin Gentry said Davis has been "cleared to practice" as he recovers from a sprained left index finger that has sidelined him since the end of a loss at Portland on Jan. 18.
Yahoo Sports' Chris Hayes reported Tuesday that the Pelicans prevented Davis from making his healthy return to the lineup last night.
The Pelicans are 23-31 and 13th in the Western Conference. Davis has said all along that he planned to play again for New Orleans once his finger injury healed up. New Orleans visits the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday (8 ET, NBA League Pass) in its last game before the trade deadline.
If Davis winds up not being dealt by the deadline, he would be allowed to join his teammates on the court. However, Haynes reports there is a strong possibility Davis could be "shut down to an extent" for the rest of 2018-19 after the All-Star break.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.