Pacific Notes: Johnson, Rondo, Kings, George

Former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson recently appeared on Fox Sports 1 to discuss his old team, the well-documented trade conversations involving Anthony Davis and more.

Prior to the trade deadline last February, with Davis seeking to move out of New Orleans, Johnson and then-Pelicans GM Dell Demps engaged in a serious of discussions with hopes of finalizing a trade to land Davis in Los Angeles. The Lakers never believed Demps was truly looking to accommodate Davis’ request, and Johnson used a noteworthy level of honesty while discussing the matter in his appearance on Fox.

“He was looking at me like I caused Anthony Davis to want to be traded,” Johnson said (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports). “So, we’re on the phone, and he’s blaming me. I said, ‘What are you blaming me for, Dell?’ I heard he wanted to be traded, so I’m giving you a call. ‘Are you going to trade him?’ ‘You’re not going to trade him.’ So, he had me send three or four proposals, but he never got serious, Shannon. He never got serious. And I said, I told Rob [Pelinka], I told Jeanie [Buss], ‘He doesn’t want to trade AD to us.’ And sure enough, the last one was, ‘Give us your whole team and five first-round picks.’ I said, ‘Listen, man. [Laughter.] I can’t give you five first-round picks and the whole team.’ He wanted all our young guys. I said, ‘No, I can’t do it now.’ That’s when I said he doesn’t want to trade him.

“And look what happened. When they found out, the owner found out what was the trade proposal from us, she was like, ‘Oh, what are you doing?’ And then the new general manager comes.”

Johnson didn’t mince words about what failing to trade Davis did for Demps’ job security, either.

“It got him fired,” he proclaimed.

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Despite originally targeting a Sunday return date, Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (calf) will wait to make his season debut, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes (Twitter link). Rondo participated in a workout on Saturday and will work out again on Sunday to ramp up his endurance, Haynes notes. The Lakers have games scheduled this week against the Suns on Tuesday, Warriors on Wednesday and Kings on Friday.
  • In his latest mailbag, Jason Jones of The Athletic examines the situation of Kings big man Harry Giles, where coach Luke Walton stands with the front office, and more. Sacramento has opened the 2019/20 season with 3-6 record, including a 1-3 mark at home.
  • Clippers star Paul George could make his season debut as early as Monday after being cleared for five-on-five practice this weekend, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. George had separate surgeries earlier this year to repair a partially torn tendon in his right shoulder and a small labrum tear in his left shoulder.
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8 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Johnson, Rondo, Kings, George

  1. Curtisrowe

    ” I don’t know why no one seems to like me..” A Memoir by Magic Johnson

  2. Jason Lancaster

    Magic is just incredible. Guy is an absent manager who is hard on staff in LA, to the point of ESPN running a major story about his bad job. But he can’t accept responsibility for his actions or criticism, so he quits they Lakers all of the sudden. No warning or explanation to team, no two weeks notice. Then, he uses his new freedom to bad mouth Walton, then Pelinka, and now Demps.

    He’s awful.

    • Grant

      But he was right about Demps and Walton. And his comments on Pelinka seemed more personal than professional so who knows there could be truth there as well. Magic knows more about basketball then you or me probably ever will, his issue resides more in him not knowing people. Probably won’t get another nba gig anytime soon

  3. I don’t blame Demps because what Davis did was dishonorable. Forcing a club to trade you to only 1 team. Davis turned his back on his team and team mates. Magic knew it was LeBron who talked Davis into going LA.

  4. x%sure

    The Kings have a new coach & style to get used to… maybe, maybe not an upgrade.

    Giles is a tease. Perfect except his knees.

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