The Lakers had a higher chance to get Anthony Davis if they had kept the trade talks under the radar according to sources near the team. The loud trade talks that went down between the two Western-conference teams might’ve led to the Pelicans holding back.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated explains:
“Handled quietly, and the Pelicans might have been more open to dealing with the Lakers, but Davis’s attempt to bully his way to LA, coupled with internal questions about whether the Lakers, who are headlined by LeBron James, who is represented by Rich Paul, who also represents Davis, had a hand in all this only served to cement the Pelicans resistance to dealing with Los Angeles—for now, anyway.”
What started as a quiet opportunity for both teams quickly exploded into a mass media frenzy with both teams in the hot seat – probably prompting the Pelicans to take a step back. In lieu of ever-increasing uncertainty, trade talks unsuccessfully lingered between the two teams until they were eventually dropped completely.
Additionally, the Pelicans did not want to feel “bullied” by Davis into a trade with the Lakers. This may not be a stretch considering the Lakers walk around doing whatever they want in the trade market – talking to whoever, whenever. They’ve already drawn thousands of dollars in fines and multiple investigations for tampering with players.
=The Lakers and Pelicans both sit outside the Western Conference playoff picture. With LeBron and the Lakers making a run for the 8th and final spot with 25 games left, the Lakers will need to bounce back after the Anthony Davis trade scramble – to gather the pieces of their team back together to make it to the big show. They’re even anticipating a Lonzo Ball return after the All-Star break.
The Pelicans, on the other hand, are in a dire situation. The team seems too unmotivated to play – including Anthony Davis. The team suffered a 30-point loss to the Magic on Tuesday before bouncing back with a win against the Thunder – with Anthony Davis averaging 10 points a game during the 2-game span. The Pelicans might’ve demanded a quieter situation during the exchange with the Lakers, but not executing a deal may hurt them in long run.