After the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, the Los Angeles Lakers received more clarity on Anthony Davis’ current situation with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Despite the Pelicans landing the No. 1 pick and likely selecting Zion Williamson, Davis’ stance on the trade request still has not changed.
Although the Lakers made a ‘pretty attractive’ offer for Davis according to some within the Pelicans organization, they reportedly still do not want to trade him to Los Angeles.
We have been told, I think, through channels – most of us have heard this same scuttlebutt – that Gayle Benson has basically told him, “To the Lakers, over my dead body.”
If this is ultimately the case, the Lakers reportedly could target Bradley Beal via trade with the Washington Wizards, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News:
The Lakers have other players they’re targeting in trades, according to league sources. Chief among them is Wizards guard Bradley Beal, though with the Wizards not yet hiring a front office honcho, no decision has been made whether to trade Beal. But LA will be in position to make an attractive offer if Beal is put on the block.
Based on multiple reports, the Lakers offered the young core, draft picks, and salary cap relief for Davis at the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline. By landing the No. 4 pick three months later, the Lakers and Pelicans would have had another significant asset to work with in potential trade discussions.
As for Benson and the Pelicans, it appears things have gotten so personal to the point they are willing to let it get in the way of business. While the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks are still potential trade destinations, it can be argued their offers are not as attractive as initially thought.
Regardless of what happens, the Lakers have numerous options to improve their roster for the 2019-20 NBA season. With an unexpected top-four draft pick and a max-contract slot, they will look to land a second All-Star player alongside LeBron James.
However, if the Lakers truly want Davis long-term and are willing to wait a season, he will become an unrestricted free agent. While the 26-year-old reportedly is willing to re-sign with some other teams, he could ultimately be a one-year rental if the Pelicans trade him elsewhere.