The Lakers pursued the Pelicans to trade for the superstar by offering several players but to no avail
Published 12:41 PM, February 11, 2019
Updated 12:41 PM, February 11, 2019
PART OF THE BUSINESS. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, though, says he has no regrets dealing with the Pelicans in an attempt to land Anthony Davis. Photo by Gabriel Bouys/Pool/AFP (Magic) and Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America/AFP (Davis)
LOS ANGELES, USA – Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, said Sunday, February 10, the New Orleans Pelicans never bargained with them in good faith regarding NBA star Anthony Davis.
The Lakers engaged in talks with the Pelicans to land a trade for Davis but could not strike a deal before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Asked if he thought the Pelicans negotiated in good faith, Johnson said, “No.”
“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, hey, it is what it is.”
Johnson said he has no regrets about the public nature of the talks with Pelicans general manager Dell Demps over the past two weeks after Davis, through his agent, indicated he wanted to leave the Pelicans.
Johnson said his players are professional enough to handle having heard their names mentioned in trade rumors for Davis.
“Quit making this about thinking these guys are babies, because that’s what you’re treating them like,” said Johnson.
“They’re professionals. All of them. 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.”
Johnson said he spoke individually with several players in the wake of the dealmaking that fell through.
“They get paid to do a job,” Johnson said. “We’re all professionals. I’ve been in this league 40 years. A lot of players got traded on Thursday. Guess what’s gonna happen next year? A lot of players will get traded. A lot of players will stay home.”
“I talked to our guys, they’re in a good place.”