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Pelicans owner Gayle Benson says it’s ‘completely untrue’ she’d refuse to trade Anthony Davis to Lakers

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 22: Gayle Benson owner of the New Orleans Saints reacts before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 22, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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Pelicans owner Gayle Benson reportedly said she’d trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers only over her dead body.

Fletcher Mackel of WDSU:

Good for Benson if this is her stance. If trading Davis, New Orleans should take the best offer – no matter which team makes it.

But there are many people who believe the Pelicans won’t send Davis to the Lakers. I don’t think that idea came from thin air.

Did it come from New Orleans? The Pelicans could just be trying to leverage a better offer from the Lakers while Benson tries to maintain her reputation as business-savvy, a difficult balancing act.

Did it come from Los Angeles? If the Lakers are spreading falsehoods to paint themselves as victims of the the Pelicans’ irrationality, that could even further sour relations between these franchises. What didn’t begin as a reluctance to deal with the Lakers could easily turn into one.

Ultimately, I don’t think that matters much. It seems unlikely the Lakers will present the strongest offer for Davis.

But they might. Between Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the No. 4 pick and all their future first-round picks, the Lakers have assets to get into the mix. It’ll depend what other teams offer.

This really comes down to whether you take Benson at her word or trust Jackie MacMullan’s reporting. I appreciate Benson putting her name behind her position, and I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who does that. Perhaps unfairly to MacMullan, only Benson has a real opportunity to be proven correct and truthful.

There are three scenarios:

  • Lakers make best offer, Benson accepts it – we’d know she’s telling the truth here
  • Lakers make best offer, Benson rejects it – we’d almost certainly never hear about it
  • Lakers don’t make best offer – we’d never know whether she’s telling the truth here

The only way we’d know something is New Orleans actually trading Davis to the Lakers, which – again – probably won’t happen even if Benson is totally open to it.