Lakers owner Jeanie Buss says reports of what her team offered to the Pelicans in an attempt to land Anthony Davis were exaggerated, tweets Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Buss addressed the rumors in a speech today at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. She couldn’t mention Davis by name because of tampering rules, but said leaks that the Lakers were willing to trade “our entire roster” for “a certain player” were “fake news.”
A report just before last month’s trade deadline said L.A. was prepared to give up all its young talent, offering Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and Josh Hart to New Orleans, along with a pair of first-round draft picks.
The denial from Buss meshes with a report yesterday by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, notes Christian Rivas of Silver Screen and Roll. “My sources have told me within the last 48 hours that what we’ve heard the Lakers offered may not be true,” MacMullan said in an appearance on “The Jump.” “… I think there’s some question about just how much did they offer. Did they even get a chance to offer anything?”
There were rumors in the week before the deadline that former Pelicans GM Dell Demps was refusing to take calls from the Lakers to give them a chance to talk about Davis, so MacMullan might be right when she speculates that a formal offer was never made.
No one has confirmed which players with which L.A. would have been willing to part to acquire Davis, but there have been reports that the trade talk had a negative effect on many of those whose names were mentioned. The Lakers haven’t played well since the deadline, falling into 10th place in the West with a 30-32 record.
L.A.’s trade plans involving Davis should become clearer once the season is over and negotiations can resume. However, the Lakers will find a more competitive playing field, with the Celtics and Knicks expected to become actively involved, along with other teams.