The Lakers did not get Anthony Davis at the trade deadline despite the best efforts of Davis, Rich Paul, Rob Pelinka, and Magic Johnson.
L.A. reportedly put an offer featuring four of their top young players and two first round picks on the table (along with taking on Solomon Hill’s contract to provide cap relief for New Orleans), but that still wasn’t enough for the Pelicans. There is a debate raging about whether the Pelicans were simply acting in their best interests in pushing for more, or if there was something more nefarious afoot in New Orleans’ plans.
Some have posited that the Pelicans never intended to trade Davis to the Lakers, feeling the organization was playing a role in the strong-arming efforts of Klutch Sports to push the star to L.A. As such, New Orleans let the Lakers create locker room discord by making such a strong push and having their young players firmly involved in trade talks so publicly.
Now, whether that was all part of a master plan from the start or, more likely, the Pelicans just happily let the Lakers do that to themselves, Magic Johnson isn’t pleased with how all of it went down. Johnson spoke with reporters in Philadelphia on Sunday and when asked whether the Pelicans operated in good faith during all of this, he had a succinct response.