You’re gonna read all the analysis and realize the general sentiment is the Pelicans got a better deal, but the Lakers took a reasonable risk.
You need to give LeBron good teammates as soon as possible, cause he ain’t getting younger and the league is wide open with the KD and Klay out for a year. Davis was the most coveted player out there and you pay up what you have to and figure it out later.
Yet, it’s worth to take a moment and remember the cost of ego and unprofessionalism. It’s not a secret most of the league doesn’t like the Lakers and the really don’t like Rob Pelinka, all the way back to his agent days. Rich Paul and the way the are changing the paradigm in the league doesn’t have many fans either.
All this imploded when AD asked for a trade, and it resulted in childlike drama. Magic calling because Pelicans GM wouldn’t pick up to talk to Pelinka. Not responding to offers, and then leaking them to the press. Then the Lakers responded with leaks of their own. Both locker rooms fractured because of all the drama. A full blown shit show.
Time has passed, management in New Orleans changed and the Pelicans got a monster trade done. But what cost? Kuzma, Zubac, KCP and Solomon Hill. What do I mean?
July trade: Ingram, Ball, Hart, 3 first rounders, 2 swaps
February offer: Ingram, Ball, Hart, Kuzma, Zubac, Caldwell-Pope, Solomon Hill to the Lakers, 2 first rounders
So, a first-round pick less, two swaps less, but Kuzma, Zubac, KCP and you get rid of Solomon Hill’s contract. Why didn’t it go through? Because Dell Demps doesn’t like the Lakers.
You could say he was waiting out for the Celtics and taking a stand against the way the Lakers and Rich Paul provoked the trade. Those are reasonable points to make. But we all know Demps wouldn’t have made the trade even if Danny Ainge told him in February that Jason Tatum would never be on the table.
That is the cost of bad management. A part of the blame goes to Rich Paul and the Lakers, yet it all came down to what the Pelicans missed out on. This is a conversation the league needs to have and it will be fascinating to see how this slippery slope will unfold in the future.
So the next time a player under contract tries to force a way out, and to a specific team – what should his team do? Accept it or fight against it?