Article was written on Feb. 11. All records and games after said date were not included.
The past few weeks in the NBA have been crazy.
As the trade deadline approached, teams have been calling New Orleans to figure out what it would take for the organization to trade their star Anthony Davis, who announced he wouldn’t be re-signing and ultimately requested a trade. Throughout the following weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers were calling and throwing everything, and everyone on the table to try and acquire the six-time All Star. Although Davis will be a free agent after this season and expressed that he would love to sign with the Lakers, it seems as though Magic Johnson and the rest of the organization would rather bring him to LA before any other teams (such as the Celtics and Knicks) could put offers together on the table and bring him elsewhere.
The week started off with talks of how the Lakers’ organization was calling and nobody would answer. Pelicans’ general manager Dell Demps stated that he was in no rush to trade Davis despite all the teams that were calling and all the offers that were being made.
Of the offers, the biggest had to be the Lakers’ offering of almost all of their young core. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were on the block as well as draft picks.
But the Pelicans still denied.
New Orleans later responded by stating that, with the players named above, they also wanted 6-8 draft picks.
That’s completely insane.
In my opinion, the Pelicans were never going to trade Davis before the break. For a team to offer their young core of players (who were all starting at the time) in exchange for one player all to be denied, is amazing. It’s not like the players they offered are bad. In fact, many of them have bright futures in the NBA. I think Demps was watching the Lakers, a team he has to compete against, rise up slowly in the playoff rankings (prior to LeBron getting hurt) and realized he has an opportunity to throw things off within their organization.
Fans even know LeBron has a say in any organization he goes. If he wants a coach gone, he’ll be gone.
If he wants a player gone, he’ll be gone.
By having the Lakers keep making offers, it made LA’s young players see that they are expendable. These players are giving their all, the organization is willing to ship them away as if they aren’t good enough. Have these trade offers caused tension in the locker room? Has it caused these young players to look at everybody differently? Do they feel like they can trust LeBron or Magic Johnson?
You have fans yelling “You’re getting traded” now when the Lakers are on the road. And, to make things worse, players who weren’t offered on the table are being taunted as being “Not trade worthy.”
There’s no doubt that the offers caused problems that weren’t there prior to Davis announcing he wanted to be traded.
Since Davis announced he wanted to be traded on Jan. 28, the Lakers have gone 2-4. Other than the win over the Celtics where the team rallied from 18 down to win on a lucky buzzer beater, the Lakers have been getting blown out, losing by 16 to the 76ers, 14 to the Warriors, 42 to a Pacers team without their best player and again to the 76ers by 23.
If Demps’ true plan was to confuse and throw off an organization that was on the rise, it surely looks as though he’s done an excellent job.
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