Rob Pelinka must feel like he’s back in high school right now (OK, maybe we’re just projecting).
The Los Angeles Lakers general manager has one objective over the next week: get the New Orleans Pelicans to agree to trade Anthony Davis to La La Land. But as it turns out, Pelinka reportedly has called Pelicans general manager Dell Demps in advance of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, but can’t get Demps to call him back, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
Per Wojnarowski and Lowe, the Pelicans are unwilling to make this easy for Davis and the Lakers, with New Orleans owner Gayle Benson “carrying the small-market banner,” trying to put a wrench in Davis’ plans to join LeBron James in Tinseltown.
The Pelicans reportedly are prepared to play the long game with Davis’ trade demand, perhaps telling him that he will have to wait until 2020 to sign with LA as a free agent. Demps has been returning other phone calls but has not responded to LA, according to Wojnarowski and Lowe, taking a page out of the San Antonio Spurs’ playbook after they refused to trade Kawhi Leonard to the Lakers last summer.
This is something the Lakers are growing accustomed to.
Davis reportedly has made it clear that LA is his desired destination and if traded elsewhere he will walk in free agency in 2020. That reportedly has not deterred the Boston Celtics from pursuing a trade for Davis this summer when the NBA rules allow it.
Whenever Demps does return Pelinka’s phone call, the Lakers reportedly are expected to make a “monster” offer, but New Orleans knows that offer will still be available this summer and the Celtics reportedly will put everyone not named Kyrie Irving on the table in trade talks.
Demps is expected to return Pelinka’s call within a few days, per the report, but at this point, Davis wearing purple and gold this season seems like a long shot.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images