- The Pelicans passed on the Lakers' trade offer and kept Anthony Davis in hopes of landing a better deal in the summer. Will they regret that decision?
The Lakers offered up some combination of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and multiple first-round picks in an effort to land Anthony Davis and the Pelicans stood pat the trade deadline. In this version of the Open Floor podcast, Andrew Sharp and The Washington Post's Ben Golliver talk about the Lakers young core and discuss whether New Orleans will regret turning down their offer in the long run.
Andrew Sharp: New Orleans, I think that they were really smart to turn down that Lakers package. It just isn't very good unless you're really in on Brandon Ingram. I really do think Ingram is pretty good and takes more heat than he deserves, but he's not someone I would feel comfortable building a new era around. And people kept talking about the Lakers putting in two front-round picks or three first-round picks.
If you're trading Anthony Davis to a team that always has LeBron, those picks are going to be pretty bad and next to worthless. You're getting the 25th to 30th pick in the draft, so adding more worthless picks to the deal shouldn't really change thing for New Orleans, and I think that's where they ultimately came down. It's like, 'You know what? We don't think Lonzo's very good, we don't think Ingram's very good.' Both of these guys are going to be due for extensions in the not too distant future and we don't necessarily want to pay them that much. I don't think that they're losers, because they're going to get at worst a pretty good deal from Boston. They could also turn around and get a godfather offer from the Knicks in mid-June depending on how the lottery shakes out, and I think that possibility is why I would've felt comfortable turning down L.A. Because worst-case scenario they're going to be able to have the Celtics and Knicks bidding against each other in June.
Ben Golliver: I guess. There's also the chance that those offers aren't really that great. If I'm Boston I don't want to trade Jayson Tatum. I still don't. I'd rather have him locked up on the contract he'd be on, have him for the next seven to eight years, so if he's not in the picture—Ainge did do a pretty masterful job of flirting with that but not committing to it—there's a chance that the Pelicans wind up still, after all this waiting, not getting that impressive of a package.
Sharp: Well, sure. But I don't know that they're going to do that much worse than what the Lakers were offering this week. Because what the Lakers were offering this week was basically a bunch of C+ starters so that you could go finish at best in seventh place in three or four years when all of those guys mature. So if that's the alternative I'd rather take my chances in June.
Golliver: To be honest, the whole Anthony Davis nonsense was worth it just to hear you accurately appraise Brandon Ingram. It took six or seven months, you were fronting like crazy during the top 100 podcast and all that, but you've finally come around to the right declaration. Hey, Andrew, I think it's time for our favorite segment, don't you?
Sharp: Well, wait, I have one more story to tell about the Pelicans. First of all, did you see that they're going to play Anthony Davis for the rest of the season?
Golliver: Perfect. Well, they're probably worried they're going to get fined for not doing it.
Sharp: I think that's got to be a league office thing where Adam Silver made a phone call and basically said, 'Look, you're going to play the fifth or sixth best player in the NBA.' But I will say I tried to steal Anthony Davis in my fantasy league but offering Jahlil Okafor and Kyle Kuzma, and the other person was very, very offended. And this was when it looked like Anthony Davis wasn't going to play for the rest of the season. So it wasn't as disrespectful as it sounds, but even that guy didn't want Kyle Kuzma. So that's the moral of the story: Nobody really cares about these Lakers young guys.