Anthony Davis Trade Rumors: Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma in Lakers' Initial Offer

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 2, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 18: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans reaches for the rebound against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 18, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly made an offer to the New Orleans Pelicans for six-time All-Star big man Anthony Davis, but the Pelicans aren't interested.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Lakers offered point guards Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo, forwards Kyle Kuzma and Michael Beasley and a first-round pick.

That proposalor any other offer as of yetdoes not work for New Orleans, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Charania reported that "the Lakers' offers to the Pelicans have not been worth countering or responding for Pelicans. Lakers' deals have included [Rondo] or Lance Stephenson as core parts of proposals—along with a couple of key young players."

Wojnarowski added that the Lakers haven't yet budged on offering more than one first-round pick or salary-cap relief. He also noted that no Los Angeles proposal has been worth a counteroffer from the Pels at this time.

There are a few takeaways from the latest Wojnarowski and Charania tweets.

First, there's no mention of Brandon Ingram in that Wojnarowski offer, so that clearly could be a sign the Lakers value him over Kuzma and Ball. Ingram, who was the second overall pick of the 2016 draft, is averaging 17.1 points on 48.9 percent shooting.

The question is whether the Lakers would include him in a potential Davis deal if need be or if including Ingram at all is a non-starter.

The answer to the first part of the question may be yes.

Per Charania, "the Lakers have offered the Pelicans two of their talented young playersamong Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, Josh Hartwith Rondo or Stephenson as core parts of a deal." Charania wrote that the Pels didn't see the offer as "serious."

He also wrote the "Lakers have yet to place all of their assets on the table as the Pelicans listen on offers for Anthony Davis," with one source telling him that offers have been "lowball."

Second, one has to wonder if the Lakers are trying to negotiate from a perceived high-leverage position. All of the dots are connecting Davis to the Lakers. Charania tweeted that the Lakers are Davis' preferred destination. Davis and Lakers superstar LeBron James share the same agent, Rich Paul.

Also, per Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN, "teams are learning that Davis' stated intention will be to play the season elsewhere if traded outside of the Lakers, but move to the Lakers as a free agent in 2020."

The last part is the kicker, as any team that would deal for Davis up until the 2020 trade deadline is risking losing him for nothing after a year-plus rental at most. That could make other teams scared to make an offer, leading to the Lakers' lowball trades.

Still, the Pelicans hold the cards right now, as they have Davis' rights until 2020. They can easily wait for another team to get desperate, or for the Lakers, who are teetering on the edge of missing the playoffs, to feel pressure and make a better offer.

The Pels did say in a statement regarding Davis that they would "do this on our terms and our timeline." There hasn't been evidence to suggest otherwise yet.

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