When Anthony Davis informed the New Orleans Pelicans he would not sign a contract extension this summer and that he wished to be traded before Thursday’s deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers immediately were speculated about as a likely landing spot.
They were identified as Davis’ preferred destination, though his representatives later provided the Pelicans with a list of additional teams that are accepted for possible trade. That came as the Lakers were struggling to present offers the Pelicans deemed legitimate.
That grew to L.A. including multiple draft picks, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Ivica Zubac in a package. But after not receiving a response from the Pelicans, the Lakers reportedly withdrew from trade talks.
As of Wednesday morning, indications were they had yet to receive a counter offer from Pelicans general manager Dell Demps. During “Woj & Lowe: Trade Deadline Special” on ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski detailed one of the challenges to a trade as Demps has not made it clear what the Pelicans are seeking:
“Dell Demps, their GM, he’s not once picked up the phone and said, ‘OK, it would be four first-round picks (or) five first-round picks.’ He hasn’t given [the Lakers], ‘Hit this number. Give me these players, give me this amount of picks.’ What he’s expected all along was the Lakers would absolutely have to overwhelm us with an offer, but he hasn’t defined for them what that would be.”
The Lakers increased their offer to include two first-round draft picks but amid reports the Pelicans were seeking upwards of four such selections, came frustration they were bidding against themselves.
New Orleans has seemingly waffled on whether to move forward with trading Davis before the 12 p.m. PT deadline or to keep the six-time All-Star and revisit talks in the offseason. Other teams have reportedly attempted to pressure and convince the Pelicans of the latter.
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