With the 2019 NBA Draft quickly approaching on June 20, the Los Angeles Lakers are in trade negotiations with the New Orleans Pelicans regarding Anthony Davis.
As the Pelicans are seeking a certain package for Davis, the Lakers reportedly have currently made Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and the No. 4 pick all available.
During these negotiations, one interesting sticking point has been the team’s unwillingness to include Kyle Kuzma.
With just a week remaining to ideally make a Davis trade that makes sense, the Lakers reportedly have not changed their stance, according to Marc Stein of New York Times:
The Lakers, thus far, are sticking to their no-Kuzma trade posture … but let’s see if they maintain it with the draft only a week away now. L.A. knows it likely needs to land Anthony Davis before June 30 to become a factor in chasing a prime free agent to join a LeBron/AD duo
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 13, 2019
However, Kuzma is not considered a dealbreaker in trade discussions, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
“I don’t think Kuzma is a dealbreaker. It’s more the total weight of the number of assets… If Kuzma is not in the deal, it’s more like the Lakers would have to give up something in the future.”
Leading up to June 20, there will be plenty of conflicting reports about Davis trade negotiations. While it appears the Pelicans do not have much leverage, leaking this type of information is one tactic in hopes of gaining some.
As the Boston Celtics were informed Davis would be a one-year rental and the New York Knicks reportedly are ‘uncomfortable’ with trading numerous assets for him, the Lakers are in a favorable position to trade for him.
Unlike the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the Lakers and Pelicans are making progress. As the Pelicans reportedly are trying to see if the No. 4 pick can land them an All-Star player in a three-team deal, they are interested in Bradley Beal.
With the Lakers in search of a second All-Star player alongside LeBron James, the hope is they do not have to make a ‘godfather’ offer this time around. At 26 years old, Davis gives them the chance to win now and later.