NBA Rumors: After Firing Dell Demps, Pelicans Owner Gayle Benson Wants To Avoid ‘Outside Forces’ Influencing Anthony Davis Trade Talks
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Lakers went all-in with their effort to complete an Anthony Davis trade before the deadline, they received little direction or feedback from the New Orleans Pelicans. Talks between the two teams reportedly came to halt in the hours leading up to the deadline.

Though, prior to that, indications were negotiations were limited to the Lakers submitting various proposals and left to wait on a response or counter. As that never came, a sentiment emerged that the Pelicans didn’t have any interest in trading Davis to the Lakers.

The resentment is believed to have emerged from Davis signing with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports last year, which the Pelicans sense marked the start of tampering given ties to LeBron James and thus the Los Angeles Lakers.

That skepticism was validated for the Pelicans when Paul reportedly made it clear Davis preferred to be traded to the Lakers. While New Orleans kept their All-Star big man at the deadline, they fired general manager Dell Demps.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson will seek a replacement that won’t succumb to external influences in a potential Davis trade:

New Orleans owner Gayle Benson has been angry over the Davis trade demand and her belief that “outside forces” are trying to push the franchise into decisions that don’t make sense for it, league sources said. Her mandate has been to “take back control from outside forces,” one league source told ESPN.

By keeping Davis, the Pelicans have put themselves in position to negotiate with the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, among other teams this offseason. The Lakers reportedly are against entering into any sort of bidding war to complete a trade.

There’s hardly a guarantee Davis will be traded before the start of next season, however, as some within the Pelicans front office may still have hope Davis will eventually have a change of heart.

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