After the NBA trade deadline resulted in the Los Angeles Lakers’ pursuit of a trade for Anthony Davis falling flat, it appears the team is prepared to flip the script. The New Orleans Pelicans turned down each and every trade offer from the Lakers during the year, in turn creating turmoil within the organization. And it appears there’s no interest in Los Angeles letting that happen again.
When the Lakers received the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft thanks to the lottery, the immediate belief was that the selection would be included in a trade for Davis. While that may prove true, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that if the team has not dealt their pick by draft night, that they won’t complete a trade for the Pelicans star (via Hoop Central).
On the surface, this may seem like a comment that’s obvious, but it goes beyond that. The Lakers have chased the Pelicans in their pursuit of a trade for Davis since earlier in the season, and many believe the team can put together the best package for the star forward. But it appears they are now more than willing to use their draft pick and add another talented young piece or include that selection in another potential deal if talks don’t ramp up.
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Lakers’ Use of No. 4 Pick in Anthony Davis Trade or Other Deal
It’s purely speculation at this point as to whether the Lakers would use the pick on a player like Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland or Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver – or instead put it in another trade if the Davis deal falls through. But if they aren’t bluffing on this, then the ball is now in the Pelicans’ court to make a move and decide if they want to jump at one of the deals Los Angeles puts on the table.
There have been rumblings that the Lakers have interest in other players via trade as well, such as Bradley Beal or Kyle Lowry, and either player would come at a lower cost than Davis. Beal would surely require more assets in a deal than Lowry due to age and contract, though.
On their current deals, Beal (25) is set to earn just over $27 million next year and north of $28.75 million the year after, per Spotrac. As for Lowry (33), his cap number is just under $34.5 million for the 2019-20 season.
Anthony Davis Trade Deadline Rapidly Approaching?
Assuming the above report is how things play out, this means the Lakers and Pelicans will have roughly eight or nine days to come to terms on a package that works for both sides. The 2019 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 20, so the much-anticipated outcome of the Davis trade saga is likely to offer clarity around that point, or potentially sooner.
As far as what the deal could look like, there’s a reason to believe the rumored massive offers from the Lakers which came during the year won’t be the same ones offered now. That’s not set in stone and many things can change, but it’s worth noting that one recent report pointed to a deal getting close to being done.
According to OnSmash, there’s talk that it would be a multi-team trade which features Lonzo Ball going to the Phoenix Suns. As of now, everything remains up in the air, but the coming days could be vital for the Lakers, their pursuit of Davis and the direction the franchise winds up heading this offseason.