Lakers Vs. Pelicans Preview: L.A. Looking For Fourth Win In Last Five Games
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers start their final road trip of the 2018-19 NBA season on Sunday against the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans.

Both teams have little left to play for after being eliminated from the playoffs. Of course, they became intertwined in rumors leading up to the NBA trade deadline.

Davis’s agent Rich Paul, who also represents James, tried to engineer a trade to land Davis on the Lakers. Despite a massive offer from the Lakers for their superstar, the Pelicans declined.

The Lakers reportedly believe that New Orleans then leaked the trade offer in order to erode trust within the team’s locker room. The swirling rumors reportedly did just that.

The bigger factor in the Lakers’ downfall from playoff contention, though, is injuries. Three key members of the team’s young core have all been shut down for the remainder of the season.

Lonzo Ball could not recover from an ankle injury suffered in Houston on Jan. 19. The Lakers now think that the young point guard’s ankle problems stem from his Big Baller Brand shoes. Ball has hinted on social media recently that he is leaving the brand his father created.

Brandon Ingram was in the midst of a breakout stretch when it was discovered that his right shoulder soreness was due to a major blood clot. Ingram underwent a successful thoracic outlet surgery on March 16 to remove the clot and is expected to be ready by the start of next season.

Josh Hart, meanwhile, underwent an ultrasonic debridement procedure on Thursday to treat tendinitis in his right knee. Hart had struggled on the court while trying to play through the tendinitis.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, seem to be in a more awkward position. This is almost guaranteed to be one of Davis’ final games in New Orleans. The Pelicans will field bids from numerous teams this summer hoping to help them fulfill their superstar’s trade demand. However, they will reportedly still refuse to deal with the Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers (34-42) vs. New Orelans Pelicans (32-45)

3:00 P.M. PT, Mar. 31, 2019
Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Lance Stephenson
PF: Moritz Wagner
C: JaVale McGee

Key Reserves: Alex Caruso, Jonathan Williams, Scott Machado

Projected Pelicans Starting Lineup:

PG: Elfrid Payton
SG: Ian Clark
SF: Kenrich Williams
PF: Julius Randle
C: Jahlil Okafor

Key Reserves: Stanley Johnson, Cheick Diallo, Christian Wood

You May Also Like

Los Angles Lakers Vs. Charlotte Hornets Postgame (VIDEOS)

The Los Angeles Lakers tied the record for the longest losing streak in franchise history, with their 10th consecutive loss on Sunday night, losing 101-82 to the Charlotte Hornets…

Lakers Vs Jazz Preview: L.A. Looks For Consecutive Wins At Home

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a 111-102 Christmas night victory…

Alex Caruso Big Night Not Enough South Bay Lakers Lose To Agua Caliente Clippers

EL SEGUNDO – The South Bay Lakers suffered their second loss of…

Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Denver Nuggets Preseason Highlights

The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in their second preseason game, hoping to start a winning streak after defeating the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday…