At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers attempted to land Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans by reportedly offering the entire young core, draft picks, and salary cap relief.
As the Pelicans ultimately did not trade Davis, former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson believed they did not act in good faith during negotiations.
With the Pelicans limiting Davis’ playing time after the Feb. 7 deadline, the Lakers could not recover from these trade rumors and missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
Since it would not be surprising for the Lakers to reignite discussions around the 2019 NBA Draft, some within the Pelicans organization made an interesting admission, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I’ve spoken to people within the Pelicans organization and they admitted that that package was pretty attractive. But they also admitted it looks a lot different now when considering Ingram than it did back then.”
Because former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is the Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations now, it will be interesting to see if the Lakers can make any progress with them. However, at his introductory press conference, Griffin shared he will try to convince Davis to stay in New Orleans first.
Despite having nearly $38 million in cap space for 2019 NBA free agency, the Lakers reportedly are not a favorite to land any of the top free agents such as Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. As a result, they may have to involve the young core again in a potential trade for a second All-Star player alongside LeBron James.