I have conflicting emotions about the trade deadline passing w/o an AD (Anthony Davis) trade. I’m relieved that the Lakers didn’t trade everything for him. I understand why you’d want to pair two of the best players in the NBA, but doing that in this manner isn’t sustainable, IMO.
That said, the Lakers did a poor job of handling these negotiations & playing the corresponding media game. One of the common themes we’ve heard is that New Orleans wasn’t particularly interested in making a deal.
That’s well within their rights, but the Lakers shouldn’t be making serious offers before establishing that the other team is actually interested in making a deal. The consequence is a locker room full of young guys who feel raw about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand going all-in on AD. If the Pelicans were interested in a deal and the two teams couldn’t come to an agreement, the resulting locker room issues would be unfortunate, but unavoidable. I just don’t think that’s what happened here.For a lot of the young guys, this is some of their first life experience of what “this is a business” really means. I think they’ll eventually come to terms with that and move on, but not right away. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they recover quickly.
It became apparent to me a few days ago that the Lakers were going to take a loss in this situation regardless of whether the trade was completed or not, and I was just hoping they’d lose less badly. This outcome is the lesser of a few evils.The one win they got out of this is that they showed Anthony Davis how much they want him and Klutch/LeBron can’t be upset that the Lakers didn’t chase him. I know a lot of people aren’t tryna hear what Klutch/LeBron wants but that’s the reality we’re in.I also think Rich Paul is as sharp as he is ruthless, and he’s gonna be motivated to make New Orleans & Boston’s life hell in whatever ways he can. I don’t know how that’s gonna manifest itself but he’s gonna have his say at some point.I don’t think the Lakers are in the driver’s seat on any of the marquee free agents this summer, although I’d love to be wrong about that. It’s going to be interesting to see if Magic sticks to his promise of not entering a bidding war over AD.
Either way, I hope this was a learning experience for the Lakers' front office, and I hope they apply it to how they approach the summer.
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