Lakers stop Davis trade talks
It appears the Los Angeles Lakers have had enough.
After the New Orleans Pelicans put forward a counter offer in order to deal Anthony Davis to Los Angeles, the Lakers have reportedly 'pulled out' of the trade negotiations.
Late Tuesday, ESPN reported on what the Pelicans wanted in exchange for Davis, and it included what was described as a 'historic haul of picks', which meant four first-round and second-round picks, along with the rest of the players and cap relief in the package the Lakers offered.
That was apparently the breaking point for the Lakers and, according to Brad Turner of the LA Times, the franchise saw the counter offer as 'outrageous', forcing them to withdraw from trade talks.
According to the Times, the Lakers made one final offer, which included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and two first round picks, but it was declined, and Magic Johnson told Pelicans general manager Dell Demps on Wednesday (AEDT) that they'd be moving on.
"They wanted more and more and more," a person with knowledge of the talks told the Times. "There was no more to give. They had cap-relief with Hill being in the deal. But the more they wanted the more it because outrageous and unrealistic."
According to ESPN, this may just be seen as a negotiating tactic, but it seems clear that both sides are after different things.
The Pelicans' immense counter offer was likely a hardball tactic to move the negotiations along, and that's exactly what it's done.
The Lakers were in a now-or-never mode with regard to a trade for Davis, because the Lakers aren't expected to be contenders to deal for the big-man in the upcoming off-season, but giving up an entire future - every young asset, and draft picks - for the six-time All-Star wasn't worth it for the front office, it seems.
While Davis was clearly angling his way to the Lakers, they've made it clear that, if they can't get him now, then they'll move on and look elsewhere in free agency. The Pelicans may understand that notion and attempt to re-engage in the trade talks, but another contender with the assets to trade for Davis, the Boston Celtics, are still wanting to deal for him, despite his obvious lack of a desire to be in that city.
This, according to Woj:
The Celtics remain determined to acquire Davis after the season, and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has directly urged Demps to wait until the offseason, when the Celtics have promised to be aggressive with their wealth of draft and player assets to try to acquire Davis, league sources said. Ainge is eager to trade for Davis and pair him with Irving, sources said.
So, the Celtics are still looking at trading for Davis - they have the best assets to do so - despite an ongoing uncertainty around the future of Kyrie Irving with the franchise.
As of now, a team with the assets to trade for Davis, and the only realistic team he's willing to commit to long-term, is out of the picture. At least, for now.