In trying, somewhat desperately, to acquire Anthony Davis at the trade deadline, the Lakers offered the Pelicans pretty much every halfway valuable asset on their roster this side of LeBron James. The trade never happened, but the core of the package the Lakers offered -- Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Kyle Kuzma, plus draft picks, perhaps the No. 4 overall -- could still be in play should New Orleans reconsider its stance.
According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, a lot of people inside of New Orleans' organization wouldn't have to reconsider anything. They were high on the Lakers' offer from the start. Speaking on The Sedano Show, here's what's McMenamin had to say:
I spoke to several people within the Pelicans' organization in the past several months that have a really high opinion of Brandon Ingram, and beyond just Brandon Ingram, have a really high opinion of the trade package that was on the table that was ultimately rejected.
Of course, when the Pelicans rejected this offer Dell Demps was still in charge. Now Demps is out, and it's newly hired executive vice president David Griffin and general manager Trajan Langdon who are calling the shots. To that extent, Griffin's comments -- before he had been hired by New Orleans and was still doing television work -- on Brandon Ingram are suddenly very interesting. Again on The Sedano Show, here's what Griffin the television analyst had to say about Ingram.
Literally this kid doesn't even have total control of his extremities yet. He's so long, he's got like that newborn deer lack of core strength. For Kyrie Irving to say that he though [Ingram] was defensively tough for him is a huge statement by Kyrie. And it says a lot about the fact that Brandon is making big strides in his core strength. Earlier this year, I saw him get blown by like he was nailed to the floor at times against point guards. He's very quickly adjusting. That's a big deal. He's 21 years old. It defies the imagination. How old was Victor Oladipo when he hit for Indiana? And [Ingram] is way more physically gifted than Oladipo.
Pretty high praise, wouldn't you say?
Now, some things have changed between then and now. Ingram had a blood clot scare that ended his 2018-19 season, and there is definitely an element of wait-and-see in terms of people around the league wanting to make sure this was a one-time thing. Also, the Lakers might not even offer this same package again. If Kyrie Irving leaves Boston, leverage could swing back in the Lakers' favor as offers start to dry up, and with Davis having the ability to just come to L.A. as a free agent in 2020, the Lakers might be less willing to throw a Godfather offer at the Pelicans.
Think about it: Had the Lakers gotten Davis in February, they would've had him for two playoff runs before his free-agent summer. Now if they trade for him, they only get him for one year ahead of when they could theoretically just get him as a free agent without giving anything up. Are you really going to offer your entire core of youth for one extra season with Davis on board? Maybe. But the Pelicans took a risk turning that offer down the first time, and there's no guarantee it's going to be there again. If for some reason it is, it sounds like New Orleans might bite this time around.