Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, does not believe negotiations were held in good faith leading up to the trade deadline.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been the talk of the NBA for a few weeks now. A major reason for that was their very public trade talks leading up to the NBA Trade Deadline.
Despite their best efforts, New Orleans didn’t seem to have much interest in discussing a deal. Pelicans general manager Dell Demps wasn’t even answering phone calls from the Lakers at the start. While he eventually picked up the phone, talks didn’t improve much from there.
Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were on the table, along with two first round picks. In addition, Los Angeles was willing to take back Solomon Hill to give New Orleans some salary cap relief.
Despite all of that, the Pelicans wanted even more reportedly asking for six to eight draft picks in any deal. As a result of what was deemed an outrageous request from the Pelicans, the Lakers pulled out of the Davis trade talks.
There was some belief that the Pelicans had no intentions of trading Davis to the Lakers. Instead, they wanted to embarrass Los Angeles and cause some inner turmoil within the locker room.
Brian Windhorst isn’t the only person who believes the Pelicans had ulterior motives when talking trades with the Lakers. President of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, also believes that negotiations held prior to the deadline were not held in good faith.
Tania Ganguli asked him the question prior to the team’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday afternoon. She did not directly ask about the Pelicans, but it was implied that was who the question was about and Johnson did not hold back from offering his opinion.
If the Pelicans truly only talked to the Lakers to leak information and ruin team chemistry, it seems to have worked to some degree. Los Angeles was blown out by 42-points against the Indiana Pacers last week, the worst loss suffered by a LeBron James led team.
After a buzzer-beating jump shot by Rajon Rondo saved the Lakers against the Boston Celtics on Thursday, they were once again blown out by the 76ers. Los Angeles has given up 135.7 points per game in their last three games, which coincides with the Davis rumors really picking up.
After Sunday’s loss, Los Angeles is 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. They are also 1.5 games behind the Sacramento Kings, who currently hold the ninth spot, as of this writing.
With the trade deadline now beyond us, the organization needs to put it behind them. With only 26 games remaining before the postseason, the Lakers need to get things figured out on the court if they want to qualify.
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