The 2018-19 NBA trade deadline came and went with the Eastern Conference contenders loading up to make a serious push to get to the 2019 NBA Finals.
However, while teams like the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers are stacked, the Los Angeles Lakers struck out on trading for Anthony Davis.
Trade negotiations between the Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans were reported heavily on leading up to Feb. 7 with several proposals being leaked. However, the Pelicans opted to keep the 25-year-old on the roster in an effort to garner more offers in the offseason.
Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka went all in trying to trade for a second All-Star player alongside LeBron James. At one point, it was reported the entire young core, two first round draft picks, and the willingness to take on long-term salary was on the table for the Pelicans.
However, Davis’ trade request right before the deadline may have rubbed the Pelicans the wrong way as it was viewed as a power play to get him to the Lakers. Regardless, the Lakers will need to wait until the offseason to make another run at Davis and their next offer is reportedly expected to decrease.
Pairing another All-Star player with James has been the plan and Davis represents the best opportunity to do so. It will be interesting to see how this saga plays out when the 2019 NBA Draft and free agency approaches.