With the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline quickly approaching on Feb. 7, all of the attention is on Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Following Davis’ trade request, the 25-year-old revealed he is focused on ‘legacy over money’ at this stage of his career. And for LeBron James who made controversial comments about wanting to play with Davis earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, he currently has a wait-and-see approach.
As there is a sense of urgency to trade or sign for a second All-Star player alongside James, the Lakers have a small window of opportunity before the Boston Celtics have the necessary assets to make an offer come July 1 due to Kyrie Irving and the ‘Rose Rule.’
In their initial offers for Davis, the Lakers have included two players from the young core and one first round draft pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
As the Los Angeles Lakers pursue New Orleans Pelicans All-NBA center Anthony Davis ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, the initial offers have been underwhelming, including the Lakers’ first offer of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick, league sources told ESPN.
And up to this point, the Lakers have been unwilling to include multiple draft picks or provide salary cap relief for the Pelicans:
Also, the Lakers haven’t offered salary-cap relief for the Pelicans, which would mean absorbing unappetizing Pelicans contracts as part of a larger trade, sources said. That’s a typical staple of offers designed to acquire superstar players.
As this is one of the five proposals, the other offer reportedly included Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and a first round draft pick. While this may be too much considering the Lakers are his preferred destination, they have an extremely difficult decision to make.
Since president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have wanted to play for their hometown team. Under similar circumstances, the Lakers decided to wait until free agency, but George ultimately re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.