After the Lakers offered pretty much their entire team for Anthony Davis, there were obvious repercussions as a result. One was pointed out by Kyla Kuzma, who said that “a lot of us kinda let it get to us” when addressing whether the talks with the Lakers and Pelicans was a distraction.
On the other hand, Kuzma knows that it’s just business, and the players shouldn’t take it personally. “Basketball is a business,” said Kuzma in an interview with Spectrum Sportsnet, “Being professionals and being around this business, you just kind of know people get traded.”
“Like I’ve said before, that was our first time around and a lot of us kind of let it get to us, but as professionals we can’t.”
If the Pelicans did do it on purpose to mess up the chemistry of the Lakers, they did a great job - and it might be a genius move by upper management. Although let’s be real, Anthony Davis asked for a trade and the Lakers were interested - the Pelicans did nothing to start it. However, they may have tormented the Lakers during the process with no intentions of signing, but who would do such an unethical thing?
Whatever the case is, the trade talks disrupted the Lakers. With players unclear about their future, there was no motivation during the Lakers’ 42-point blowout loss to the Pacers. However, as soon as the trade deadline was over, the Lakers seemed to be in top shape as they defeated the Celtics - a team with championship considerations. Therefore, there is no doubt that the trade talks may have disrupted the team.
The Lakers have faced a lot of bad luck this year. After cruising the first two months to the 5th best record in the West, the team was hit a series of injuries. Without LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and Lonzo Ball, the Lakers were unable to perform as their three biggest playmakers were out the game. The Lakers eventually fell to 10th place.
The Lakers were already having bad luck before the Pelicans decided to string them along. Although, this may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Lakers - a team that never faced adversity. Passing their first series of tests could prepare them for a playoff run - even a championship.