When the news came that Kawhi Leonard had opted to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, there was obvious concern among fans of the Los Angeles Lakers. The team had acquired Anthony Davis via trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, but Leonard’s decision took multiple days after free agency began. In turn, this meant the market had thinned out in terms of potential other pieces to fill out the Lakers roster.
Fortunately, the team was able to add a nice mixture of veterans, young talent and some of the top remaining players after Leonard’s decision. And it seems fans can at least partially thank Davis for his role in helping the roster come together.
“Rob is very good at what he does. I’m very excited about the roster. I had a big part in who came in. We’re excited about this roster, we got big goals. We want to win a championship.” Davis told ESPN Los Angeles, per ShowtimeForum.
This is certainly interesting to hear, but can’t be considered all that surprising. Especially when you factor in that Davis and general manager Rob Pelinka apparently kept the lines of communication very open.
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Rob Pelinka Called Anthony Davis Every ’30 to 45 Minutes’
If it wasn’t apparent before how much the Lakers’ front office factored in the opinion of Davis (and LeBron James), that was quickly proven to be the case in a recent interview. During a sit down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, the star forward was asked how often he, LeBron and Pelinka spoke during free agency.
As Davis explained, the Lakers’ general manager called him “every 30 to 40 minutes.”
Nichols: How often did you, LeBron and Lakers GM Rob Pelinka talk on the phone during that crazy week of free agency?
AD: Oh, all the time. It was, like, every 30 to 45 minutes, Rob would be callin’ me.
Nichols: No, come on.
AD: No, seriously. Rob would call me: “AD, what you think about him?” “All right, cool.” Right back, “AD, you know, this is what is going on with him.” “All right, cool. All right.” Sometimes I had to tell him, like, “Rob, I’m in the movies.” He’d be, like, “All right, well, call me as soon as you get out.” But we’re trying to put the best team around us, and I think he did a great job of doing it.
Pelinka, like many others, is fully aware of how vital Davis is to the future of the organization. While there won’t be a contract extension for Davis until next year, the front office has essentially put together a roster which meshes well with their two stars, at least on the surface.
Lakers’ Free Agent Says Davis, Pelinka Called Him to Sign
One of the first players the Lakers signed in free agency was Troy Daniels. As ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported, both Davis and Pelinka reached out to him about heading to Los Angeles. In turn, this led to Daniels selecting the Lakers over both the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.
It appears Davis did his fair share of recruitment, along with constantly staying in communication with Pelinka and the Lakers front office. Obviously, whatever amount of recruitment he put in worked out fairly well during free agency.