The Los Angeles Lakers were arguably the biggest focus of the NBA Trade Deadline. The front office did make a pair of deals, bringing in Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala, but all eyes were on their pursuit of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
Davis demanded a trade from New Orleans and said his preferred destination was the Lakers. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson and the front office quickly went to work putting together the best possible trade package for Davis.
However, it was reported the Pelicans weren’t returning the Lakers’ calls and offering very little dialogue overall.
Once the deadline passed, there were some believing that the Pelicans never intended to trade Davis to the Lakers, and ahead of the his team’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Magic Johnson agreed with that sentiment, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“No,” Johnson said. “We knew that basically at the end of the day what happened happened. And we knew that when we first started. In terms of what happened. But hey, it is what it is.”
In general, New Orleans never had to deal Davis at the trade deadline. He is under contract for another season and they can still trade him this summer and potentially get an even better return than what the Lakers could offer. It makes sense that this is the route they prefer.
If the Pelicans never had any intentions on dealing with the Lakers however, and simply dragged this out in order to allow rumors to hurt the team, it is a relatively petty move. It’s all speculation of course, and there is no way to prove whether that was the case or not.
At this point it’s best to move past the deadline and focus on the stretch run. The Lakers have hopes of making the playoffs, but focusing on Davis and what didn’t happen won’t make that goal any closer to becoming reality.
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.