The Lakers reportedly offered the entire young core, two first round draft picks, and salary cap relief to the New Orleans Pelicans for Davis, but the Pelicans seemed unwilling to trade him to his preferred destination.
With the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline officially over, their next opportunity to land Davis from the Pelicans will be in the offseason. However, the Lakers will have plenty of competition with teams like the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks trying to acquire the five-time All-Star player.
Although the Lakers are determined to trade for Davis, it appears their offer in the offseason will be weaker than at the trade deadline, according to Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of Los Angeles Times:
According to two people familiar with the situation, the Lakers are not willing to get into a bidding war for Davis during the summer and most likely would decrease their offer to the Pelicans.
The Pelicans seemed to never be serious in their negotiations with the Lakers as they insisted on adding more picks to a potential trade for Davis. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson eventually pulled out from trade talks after this and it was the right move given the team had other priorities.
A bidding war with the other teams could prove costly to the team’s short- and long-term outlook as it would certainly cost the Lakers at least what they offered at the trade deadline. If the Pelicans were to pass up on that offer again, then the Lakers would be best served to improve the team in free agency.
While Davis would be a perfect fit next to LeBron James, it may still be in the team’s best interest to keep their young core and simply add to them rather than giving them all away. It will be interesting to see how trade negotiations go when the offseason officially starts.