Report: Lakers trying to keep Kyle Kuzma out of Anthony Davis trade talks
Updates on the Anthony Davis trade drama keep coming out...
Which is to say spin from the various sides has been put forward to promote their interests. However, some interesting tidbits do come out through all of this. Here are the latest updates — from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Marc Stein of the New York Times — with some thoughts/commentary on what we’re seeing.
Celtics and Lakers are engaged in trade talks with New Orleans on All-NBA star Anthony Davis, league sources tell me, @ZachLowe_NBA, @ramonashelburne and @WindhorstESPN. Lakers No. 4 pick has been discussed as trade chip to help Pels acquire high-level player in multi-team deals.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2019
To be clear, of course: The Celtics and Lakers are trying to negotiate independent deals with New Orleans for Anthony Davis. There's no spirit of cooperation here. The Lakers No. 4 pick would be used to acquire Davis in a multi-team deal that does NOT include Boston. https://t.co/C9NwYJiObX— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2019
There’s nothing new here in terms of news. That the Celtics are not backing off their efforts to get Davis in the wake of Davis’ agent Rich Paul saying AD would not re-sign in Boston is not a surprise or a change from what we reported before. Same with the note in Wojnarowski’s story that the Nets and Clippers have gained some “traction” in talks with the Pelicans.
However, this getting leaked, much like Pelicans VP David Griffin saying there is no timeline to make a trade, sounds like spin from the Pelicans camp to keep the pressure on the Lakers to come up with a better deal than whatever is on the table now.
And what is on the table now is not Kyle Kuzma, Stein reports (and Wojnarowski confirms).
The Lakers have made Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and the No. 4 pick in the June 20 draft available in trade talks with the Pelicans, league sources say. New Orleans has made it known it hope to assemble a three-teams-or-more deal before surrendering Anthony Davis— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 12, 2019
My sense is that the Lakers, to this point, have tried to keep Kyle Kuzma out of the talks and the full package New Orleans would receive in an Anthony Davis deal obviously depends on what the third team provides— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 12, 2019
The Lakers' ability to seal a deal for Anthony Davis likely hinges on what the No. 4 pick can fetch. If the No. 4 pick can land a player to excite New Orleans, on top of Ingram and Ball, then the teams are headed for an agreement in principle before draft night next Thursday— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 12, 2019
If I’m a Lakers fan, I’m feeling pretty good right now, it sounds like they are the clear frontrunners. That said, Griffin and the Pelicans know they get just one shot at this and they will push hard for the best deal possible. As they should. I’d want Kuzma in a deal, and if he’s not there, the Lakers need to get someone else that the Pelicans want with that fourth pick.
If there is a team that has fallen in love with Jarrett Culver or Darius Garland in this draft and is willing to move up and get them, then the Lakers could get that needed player to entice New Orleans. The challenge is, almost every scout I’ve spoken to sees a drop off after three (or, some see a drop off after two and Ja Morant, there are some not high on R.J. Barrett). Will the Lakers be able to spin this pick into a player that the Pelicans want?
This is a trade that almost certainly gets done before the draft, and the Lakers are in a strong position, but getting this over the line is not going to be easy.