Magic Johnson, president of the Los Angeles Lakers, commented yesterday on failed negotiations with the New Orleans Pelicans over an Anthony Davis trade. For the Lakers legend, the Pels never intended to trade Davis.
Johnson denied the question of whether the Pelicans had any intention in the negotiations to trade their superstar and behave fairly. "At the end of the day, it went the way it was." Davis' advisor Rich Paul had publicly demanded a trade, with the Lakers being Davis's favorite destination.
According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers offered a package of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and two first-round picks, but the Pelicans were reluctant to accept. In this phase, the Lakers had to fight, especially the young players seemed a little intimidated by the rumors.
Thus, the 42-point defeat at the Indiana Pacers was an intermediate low point. Magic did not want to take that as an excuse. "We have to stop treating them like babies," Johnson told. "You media treat them that way, too, but they're professionals, all together, I've seen enough players in 40 years who have been traded, which was no different this season."
But there was no big trade, but in the Free Agency, the Lakers want to attack again, as Magic confirmed. "The incidents will not affect our plans for this summer," said Johnson, but he was not worried about the future of the Lakers.
"There will be a strong collection of free agents and we want to grab one of them." The most prominent names are Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler or Klay Thompson.
Another name that could be on the Lakers radar in the future is that of Ben Simmons. After all, the Sixers star, like LeBron James, is under contract with Klutch Sports, the agency of LeBron's friend Rich Paul. This alone has caused rumors in the past that Simmons would sooner or later want to play in L.A. together with LeBron.
Before the Lakers vs. Sixers game, Magic has hinted that he could work with Simmons this summer. "He contacted me - not me directly, but the Lakers - to find out if we could get together in the summer," Johnson told reporters.