With the NBA season officially over, the Anthony Davis trade situation has taken over the headlines. Mostly because whoever gets him will become instant title contenders.
That is obviously the goal for the L.A. Lakers, who are looking to capitalize on the remaining years of LeBron James' contract. Without a second star, they just don't have enough to compete at the highest level -- this past season was proof of that, injuries aside.
In the latest update, the Pelicans and Lakers have reportedly made significant progress towards a deal, and are looking to get a third team involved.
But according to Brian Windhorst, not all may be as it seems in these trade talks.
“I think it’s a good sign that David Griffin is shopping the No. 4 pick. That at least means he’s open to a deal with the Lakers. But I think all of this is a maneuver to draw as much as he possibly can out of the Celtics. They’ve preferred to deal with the Celtics since Dell Demps was the general manager. The Lakers’ offers haven’t changed that much. They have a higher pick, but they don’t really have different players to offer. If he really wanted to make the Lakers deal, and he really wanted the draft pick, he would’ve already made the Lakers deal.”
Similar to February's trade deadline talks, things seem to be dragging on between the Lakers and Pelicans. Griffin could be trying to wait and see what other offers come up, or he could still be working things out with a potential third team. Or, unfortunately for the Lakers, he could be using them to bait the Celtics into giving up more assets.
Whatever the case, the L.A. does not really have a choice. If they even have the slightest chance at an A.D. deal, they best give it their best shot. Because even that possibility is more likely than landing one of the top-tier free agents this July.