Since Anthony Davis’ trade request from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have made some progress ahead of the Feb. 7 deadline.
After Pelicans general manager Dell Demps reportedly was not taking calls from Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was able to eventually speak to him and present five different trade scenarios for Davis.
As one potential scenario included the entire young core, with the exception being Josh Hart, to go along with a first-round draft pick, it is clear the Lakers are trying to trade for Davis now.
With the Boston Celtics being viewed as the team with the most assets come July 1, the Lakers understand the situation at hand and reportedly are leery of a bidding war, according to Brad Turner of L.A Times:
Though the Lakers “really, really want” Davis, they would be “very hesitant” to try to outbid the Celtics because the Lakers feel they could spend so much time on a deal that might or might not happen and then miss out on some of the top free agents this summer, according to a source. “The Lakers have done all they can in trying to get Davis,” one source said. “Now all they can do is wait.”
Depending on how the trade deadline goes, the Lakers could have $30 to 38 million in cap space available for 2019 free agency. The ideal situation is to trade for Davis and then sign a third All-Star like Kyrie Irving or Klay Thompson — both who have already been linked to the Lakers.
After not trading for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, there is a sense of urgency for the Lakers to acquire a second All-Star to pair with James. While there was initially patience, the Lakers should maximize James’ time in Los Angeles, especially after he missed 17 games due to a groin strain.
Meanwhile, with Irving’s latest remarks about his future, the Celtics being in position to re-sign him and trade for Davis this summer has seemingly taken a hit. That of course would be positive for the Lakers and their desire to avoid bidding against them.
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