The Lakers were heavily involved in trade discussions with the Pelicans leading up to the trade deadline.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
February 10, 2019

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson isn't happy with how the Pelicans acted throughout the two teams' trade negotiations for Anthony Davis leading up to the trade deadline.

Before the Lakers' 143–120 loss to the 76ers on Sunday, Johnson slammed New Orleans leadership and said they operated in bad faith during trade talks.

"No," Johnson answered flatly when asked if the Pelicans acted in good faith. "We knew that basically at the end of the day what happened, happened. And we knew that when we first started in terms of what happened. But hey, it is what it is."

Davis shook up the basketball world last month by telling the Pelicans he had no intention of a signing a contract extension. The All-Star center listed Los Angeles as one of his preferred teams to be traded to.

The Lakers offered up some combination of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and multiple first-round picks in an effort to land Davis, but the Pelicans stood pat through the trade deadline.

Johnson said that the fact that the Lakers' offers were publicized did not surprise him, however, and pushed back against the notion that it was unfair to the team's young core.

"Quit making this about thinking these guys are babies because that's what you're treating them like," Johnson said. "They're professionals. All of them. And this is how this league works. They know it, I know it, that's how it goes. So we've got to move forward, and we are moving forward. They played outstanding against Boston, give them credit. And we want to play well today and continue on. This is a part of the league. You've got a good side of the business that we get paid to be professional basketball players and there's deals like this."

The Lakers are 28–28 and currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference.

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