The New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers are set for a marquee matchup on Friday night. With the red-hot trade rumors already swirling about Anthony Davis potentially teaming up with LeBron James, this game has headlines growing at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, there’s a chance both stars could wind up missing the game.
Hours ahead of the nationally televised matchup, it was revealed that Davis is still questionable due to an illness from last game while James is now also questionable.
With this game slated as an ESPN headliner, either player missing it would be disappointing. Not only will the game itself be highly entertaining, but beyond that, it’ll only add to the drama surrounding the current trade rumors.
LeBron James Being Called for Tampering With AD
There is a wide range of opinions on this topic, but it seems James has caused a major stir with his recent comments about Davis. After LeBron said it would be “amazing” for the Pelicans star to join him with the Lakers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed major backlash from some general managers around the league.
Specifically, it seems the smaller-market teams are taking issue with the comments and handling of the situation.
“It’s New Orleans’ problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us,” one Eastern Conference GM told ESPN. “It’s open season on small markets and our players.”
While there’s a fine line between what’s tampering and what isn’t, it’s apparent that James even showing interest in adding another superstar was enough to set off a run of negative reactions. Although there’s surely been worse than this that’s happened behind the scenes, it’s easy to understand where the opposing teams are coming from.
Pelicans vs. Lakers Matchup Friday
Going beyond just the most recent issues that have come to light, if Davis and James suit up, this has the potential to be an excellent game. The Lakers currently sit at No. 4 in the Western Conference with an 18-13 record while the Pelicans are 15-17, just a handful of games behind. The West as a whole is one big jumble of teams, as the difference between the No. 1 and No. 14 seeds is just 7.5 games.
Both teams are also looking to snap two-game losing skids currently while offering up the national audience a game that should feature plenty of scoring. Both the Pelicans and Lakers rank in the bottom 10 of the NBA in points allowed per game while landing in the top 10 of points scored.