Leading up to the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, Anthony Davis requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans after seven seasons through Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul.
As the former No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis was committed to the Pelicans, but they have missed the playoffs five times since his arrival.
With the Lakers looking for a second All-Star player alongside LeBron James, they reportedly offered the young core, draft picks, and salary cap relief for him. However, the Pelicans were never going to trade Davis to Los Angeles and former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson believed they did not negotiate in good faith.
Since February, there have been significant changes with both teams. However, despite the Pelicans landing the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Davis reportedly has not changed his stance on the trade request, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The New Orleans Pelicans are now set up to be Zion Williamson’s franchise to lift, and No. 1 pick could ease potential trade of Anthony Davis. His stance on a trade has not changed, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
Although Davis remains with the Pelicans, some within the organization admitted the Lakers did make a ‘pretty attractive’ offer for him, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I’ve spoken to people within the Pelicans organization and they admitted that that package was pretty attractive. But they also admitted it looks a lot different now when considering Ingram than it did back then.”
With the Lakers moving up seven spots and having the No. 4 pick on June 20 now, it would not be surprising for them to reignite trade discussions for Davis. While Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is focused on keeping Davis in New Orleans, they cannot lose him for nothing in 2020 NBA free agency.
As Davis and Griffin will reportedly meet in Los Angeles soon, there should be a better idea of how the Lakers should approach the situation. The unexpected No. 4 is a significant game-changer and perhaps they do not have to include so many assets four months later.
After a drama-filled month since Johnson’s resignation, the Lakers can finally focus on improving the roster after hiring head coach Frank Vogel. While there are still more questions than answers, there is no doubt the Lakers have options in hopes of becoming a championship contender in Year 2 with James.