Upon Anthony Davis informing the New Orleans Pelicans he would not sign a contract extension this summer and was seeking a trade, the Los Angeles Lakers were among the teams that immediately were connected to the six-time All-Star.
It seemingly was an extension of a widely-held assumption that Davis would somehow wind up in Los Angeles, after signing on with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports last summer. As trade rumors carried on, the Lakers’ play on the court seemed to suffer.
Individual players were inconsistent — though in some cases it could have been attributed to playing through injury — and the team collectively bottomed out two days before the trade deadline in a 42-point loss to the Indiana Pacers.
While there was rampant speculation, the Lakers ultimately were rebuffed by the Pelicans in their attempts to acquire Davis.
With the deadline having passed, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson is meeting the team on their road trip to address them over the pursuit of Davis, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times
Sensing that the Lakers have been weighed down by the persistent trade rumors over the last few weeks, Magic Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, plans to meet with the team this weekend in Philadelphia, according to two people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Johnson will listen to every player who wants to speak, hoping to have an open dialogue with his team so they can all move forward together, one person said.
Reports of Johnson flying to Philadelphia come on the heels of Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka detailing why he didn’t necessarily believe such a meeting was necessary. Pelinka noted the front office is held accountable in a public manner and deals with their own criticism.
What made the Lakers’ attempt to trade for Davis more problematic than typical scenarios was that it involved young players who were experiencing being shopped for the first time in their careers, and the sheer volume.
The Lakers’ offer to the Pelicans grew to include Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Ivica Zubac. Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson were also included in some proposals.
While the Lakers kept Ball, Caldwell-Pope, Hart, Ingram, Kuzma, Rondo and Stephenson, Beasley and Zubac were traded to the Clippers for Mike Muscala.
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