Magic Johnson: Pelicans Didn't Have Good Faith Trade Talks About Anthony Davis

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 7: Magic Johnson looks on during the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves  on November 7, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. 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 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson had one word in response when asked whether the New Orleans Pelicans negotiated in good faith regarding a potential Anthony Davis trade.

"No," Johnson said to reporters when asked the question Sunday, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin.

Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group shared Johnson's full thoughts:

While the Lakers failed in their very public pursuit of Davis, Johnson isn't panicking.

"That's not going to change our plans this summer," he said, per McMenamin. "It's a great [free agency] class and we just want to get one of them."

The Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner reported the Lakers had offered Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first-round picks to the Pelicans.

A day after Turner's report, ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported New Orleans' front office hadn't formally responded to the Lakers' offer, and one source told Turner the Pelicans were making "outrageous" trade demands.

As the trade deadline was rapidly approaching, both Rachel Nichols and Brian Windhorst wondered on ESPN's The Jump whether the Pelicans ever seriously considered dealing Davis to L.A. and instead wanted to create chaos:

One could argue Johnson is correct in his assessment and New Orleans simultaneously spurned the Lakers for valid basketball reasons.

Los Angeles' young stars haven't developed as expected, so a trade package headlined by Ball, Kuzma and Ingram isn't that appealing when a player the caliber of Davis is going in the other direction.

The Pelicans didn't get much time to truly evaluate the trade landscape, either. The Boston Celtics can't acquire Davis until the summer, and more teams might be willing to enter the fray with the benefit of a full offseason to weigh the decision.

Even though Davis can opt out after the 2019-20 season, New Orleans should still have a lot of leverage in trade negotiations at the end of the year.

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