You don't have to be a basketball expert to recognize that this season did not go as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers. After all, they signed LeBron James last summer and will be sitting at home during the playoffs. All of the details about how things fell apart along the way, however, are not as obvious. 

Early Tuesday morning, Bill Oram of The Athletic dropped a lengthy, in-depth report detailing how the season went wrong for the Lakers, from front office mishaps to locker room drama. It's well worth reading in full, but a few key passages stuck out. One was Oram's report that the Lakers and Chicago Bulls had a tentative deal in place that would have sent Jabari Parker to the Los Angeles for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley. 

The deal didn't end up getting done for a variety of reasons though, including Caldwell-Pope's no-trade clause, and the Lakers' pursuit of Anthony Davis.

The need for reinforcements was glaring, and on the weekend of Jan. 25, the Lakers had a tentative deal in place to acquire Bulls forward Jabari Parker in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley, league sources told The Athletic. However, Caldwell-Pope — another Rich Paul client — had to approve any trade and had not signed off on the deal. The Bulls awaited Caldwell-Pope's approval over that weekend, sources said.

The deal remained in limbo until Jan. 28, when Davis requested a trade out of New Orleans. With most around the league viewing that statement, issued by Paul, as an effort to team Davis with James in L.A., the Bulls moved on and realized the Lakers would cease business until the Davis saga unfolded. Chicago eventually traded Parker to Washington for Otto Porter Jr. at the deadline.

As Oram notes, the Bulls ended up sending Parker and Bobby Portis to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Otto Porter Jr. There are a few takeaways here.

First of all, it reinforces how one-minded the Lakers were in their pursuit of Davis ahead of the deadline. On one hand, it's hard to blame them, as Davis is a top-10 player in the league, but it's clear that their all-out pursuit affected the team during the season. 

Additionally, it's interesting to see what sort of deals teams have cooking behind the scenes that never get done. In this case, the Lakers probably ended up saving the Bulls big-time. While they did have to give up Portis as well, acquiring Porter was a much better move for Chicago than getting KCP. 

On the Lakers side though, it would have been better for them if this deal did go through. If only for the fact that it would have moved out Beasley, and they wouldn't have had to attach a nice young frontcourt prospect in Ivica Zubac to the veteran in order to trade him at the deadline.