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2019 NBA Trade Deadline: Los Angeles Lakers wave white flag, will no longer aggressively pursue Anthony Davis from New Orleans Pelicans

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There was also a conflicting statement written which said that the Pelicans have hopes Davis decides to stay with the New Orleans franchise.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA trade deadline still approximately 48 hours away, the Los Angeles Lakers have decided to call off the hounds.

In an article published by Broderick Turner of the LA Times, the Lakers felt they had made their best trade offer for Anthony Davis and believed the New Orleans Pelicans demands were too great in continuing to pursue getting a deal done before the February 7 deadline at 3 p.m. Eastern.

The Lakers have “pulled out” of any more conversations in trying to acquire New Orleans All-Star Anthony Davis because of the Pelican’s “outrageous” trade requests, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly.

This act of surrender shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Lakers were never close in finding common ground with the Pelicans on a deal for Davis — despite all the loud positive noise emanating out of Los Angeles. Remember, New Orleans wasn’t even interested in picking up the phone to talk to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka as the Laker offers were incredibly underwhelming throughout. The Pelicans are interested in receiving a centerpiece player who has the potential of making an All-NBA team someday, and it reportedly hurt matters that Lonzo Ball and his group made it known they did not want to come to New Orleans.

The biggest reason that a deal didn’t come together with the Lakers at this time: it didn’t need to.

With Anthony Davis still under contract for 18 months and a long list of suitors expected to be sitting on New Orleans’ doorstep at the conclusion of this season, the Pelicans have all the leverage in choosing how much they want to ask for now and in which direction they prefer to travel. Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and any of the other Laker assets you want to add to a package now may sound like a good offer, but with the Boston Celtics possessing better young players and more enviable draft assets, the New York Knicks potentially winning the draft lottery and rights to Zion Williamson, and whatever else other teams may decide to throw at New Orleans in an attempt to whisk away Davis over the summer was always going to be close to impossible of a bar for the Lakers to meet — regardless of all the strong-arm tactics employed by the Los Angeles organization and Anthony Davis’ representation, Rich Paul and Klutch Sports.

As an interesting aside, the linked LA Times article above made mention that the Pelicans still have hope that Anthony Davis may decide to stay in New Orleans. According to Scott Kushner of The Advocate, nothing could be further from the truth.