The Los Angeles Lakers informed the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday they are pulling of trade talks for star Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Times reported.
But Lakers’ president of basketball operations Magic Johnson still wants the Pelicans to start making counteroffers and will listen to them, according to league sources at ESPN.
Johnson told New Orleans general manager Dell Demps that the Lakers had made their best offer, the Times reported, citing a source not authorised the speak about the issue.
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According to Times’ sources, the Lakers had modified their offer to the Pelicans and were willing to trade Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ivica Zubac to the Pelicans.
In addition, they had agreed to part with two first-round draft picks and to take Solomon Hill and his $12.7m contract along with Davis.
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“They wanted more and more and more,” a source 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 became outrageous and unrealistic.”
Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka insist they’ll add nothing more to a deal without Demps showing an increased engagement with the Lakers, league sources told ESPN.
Both the Times and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Pelicans were asking for eight draft picks. Wojnarowski identified those as four first-round and four second-round picks.
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But Wojnarowski cautioned Johnson will listen if New Orleans makes a counteroffer.
“If Pelicans want to counter the Lakers most recent offer on Davis, Magic Johnson and (general manager) Rob Pelinka are obviously anxious to find a pathway for a trade,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “This is a negotiation tactic on behalf of Lakers, who have wanted New Orleans to show more initiative in the process.”
Davis’ agent last week said Davis would not be re-signing with New Orleans and requested a trade. Davis is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July 2020, so the Pelicans do not need to rush into a trade.
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In the meantime, Davis has recovered from a finger injury, but the Pelicans’ front office reportedly ordered the All-Star big man to sit out as rumours swirled ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.
Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday that Davis, 25, could sit until Thursday’s 3pm ET trade deadline passes.
New Orleans are scheduled to play Wednesday night in Chicago. Davis sustained a left finger avulsion on Jan. 18, but said Friday in his first public comments since demanding a trade that it was “time to move on”.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told the media on Monday that Davis had been given the OK to practice but that activating him wasn’t his call to make.
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“I don’t make those decisions,” Gentry said. “I was told he has been cleared to practice. That’s what I know.”
Davis said he wants to get back on the court. “My intentions are to play,” he said. “I’ve been working to get my finger back healthy. Obviously, it’s a tough situation, but my intention is to still play and when I’m able to play, I plan on suiting up.”
In 41 games this season, Davis is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
In addition to the Lakers, ESPN reported Davis would also entertain signing a contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks.
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