Maybe the Los Angeles Lakers just didn't have the right phone number for the New Orleans Pelicans?
A report Wednesday said Pelicans general manager Dell Demps was "not picking up his phone" for Anthony Davis trade talks. The situation apparently has changed, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday.
Lakers and Pelicans executives have connected on the phone concerning Anthony Davis, league sources tell ESPN. They're expected to talk again prior to next week's trade deadline.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
The Lakers have every incentive to acquire Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline as opposed to in the offseason. The Boston Celtics cannot trade for Davis during this season because of the league's designated player rule (explained here), but they can trade for him in the summer.
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday an update on the Lakers' plans, saying they wouldn't get into a bidding war with Boston in the summer.
Lakers want to get deal done and have no plans on trying to outbid Celtics during the summer because Lakers will then pursue other free agents besides AD.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 31, 2019
Lakrs president Magic Johnson and Pelicans GM Dell Demps spoke on the phone Tuesday about to proceed with a deal regarding Anthony Davis, who has requested a trade, per sources— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 31, 2019
Lakers president Magic Johnson and the Lakers then presented five different trade scenarios to Demps on Wednesday and are waiting to hear back from Demps about which interest him the most, per sources.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 31, 2019
Sources: Lakers let Demps know one of trade scenarios would include Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, No. 1 pick, per source.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 31, 2019
The Celtics have better trade assets than the Lakers to offer the Pelicans. For example, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is a better trade chip than any of the Lakers' best young players, a group that includes Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. Boston also has a treasure chest of first-round picks to dangle in trade talks.
The Pelicans have to hit a home run with this trade. If they don't, the franchise could be non-competitive for a very long time. It would benefit the Pelicans to wait until the summer to trade Davis so more teams, including the Celtics, can join the bidding war for the superstar center. The Lakers should absolutely try to acquire Davis now, but the odds of them pulling it off before the deadline appear to be slim.
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