The Lakers have pulled out of negotiations with the Pelicans about a trade for Anthony Davis, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. According to the source, the Lakers balked at New Orleans’ “outrageous” requests for Davis.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski follows up on Turner’s report, tweeting that the Lakers would be willing to re-engage with the Pelicans before Thursday’s trade deadline, but no longer want to bid against themselves. They’ll wait for New Orleans to make a counter-offer, per Wojnarowski, who calls the Lakers’ approach a negotiating tactic pushing the Pelicans to be more active in the process (Twitter link).
According to Turner, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson informed Pelicans GM Dell Demps on Tuesday that the team had made its best offer for Davis and would be moving on rather than continuing to add to that package.
Late on Monday night, the Lakers increased their offer for Davis once more, according to Turner, who says that the Lakers were willing to send their entire young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac to New Orleans. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first-round picks would also have been included in the swap, and the Lakers were willing to take on Solomon Hill‘s pricey multiyear contract, per the Times’ report.
While it’s hard to see how the Lakers could add much more to that offer, the Pelicans have reportedly sought four first-round picks and multiple second-round picks from L.A. as part of the package. The Lakers don’t intend to send six (or more) draft picks to the Pelicans, per Turner’s source.
“(The Pelicans) wanted more and more and more,” one source told Turner. “There was no more to give. They had cap relief with Hill being in the deal. But the more they wanted, the more it because outrageous and unrealistic.”
Reports we relayed earlier today suggested that the Pelicans felt they needed to be “overcompensated” to seriously consider sending Davis to the Lakers this week, since they think there will be more options available to them in the summer — particularly since the Celtics can enter the mix at that point.
The Pelicans also reportedly believe that the current Lakers offer will still be available in the offseason, though Turner notes that L.A. has indicated that won’t be the case. The Lakers don’t want to get into a bidding war with Boston in the offseason, according to Turner, who has previously suggested that the club may shift its focus to star free agents if it doesn’t acquire AD this week.
Turner adds that one person told him that New Orleans is hopeful that Davis will reverse course and recommit to the Pelicans if he remains on the roster through the deadline, though that seems pretty unlikely. According to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link), multiple sources “strongly deny” that the Pelicans are still holding out hope for a long-term union with Davis.
In related news, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported this morning that Davis feels “healthy” following his finger injury and had hoped to return to action for the Pels on Monday night against Indiana, but the organization elected to keep him inactive. The All-Star big man almost certainly won’t suit up for New Orleans again until after the deadline, assuming he returns to the club at all.