New Orleans rejected Los Angeles' haul of draft picks and young players before the trade deadline on Feb. 7.
The Anthony Davis negotiations between New Orleans and Los Angeles was the NBA's premier open secret prior to the trade deadline, with Lakers president Magic Johnson pressuring Pelicans GM Dell Demps to make a move. But the public nature of Johnson and Demps' discussions reportedly dissuaded the Pelicans from completing any hypothetical trade.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix assessed New Orleans' present situation on Thursday, adding a look behind the scenes in the Lakers' pursuit of Davis.
"Handled quietly, and the Pelicans might have been more open to dealing with the Lakers, sources familiar with the situation told The Crossover," Mannix wrote on Thursday morning. "But Davis’s attempt to bully his way to LA, coupled with internal questions about whether the Lakers, who are headlined by LeBron James, who is represented by Rich Paul, who also represents Davis, had a hand in all this only served to cement the Pelicans resistance to dealing with Los Angeles—for now, anyway."
Perhaps the Lakers will take a different tact in their negotiations this summer as they battle the Celtics and potential mystery teams for Davis.
Los Angeles has plenty of questions to answer before the summer, too. The Lakers enter Thursday night 10th in the West at 28–29. New Orleans is 13th in the West at 25–33.