Tampering LeBron Seems to Be Pissing Off Trade Partners, Knicks Shooting for the Moon With Porzingis Trade and Where Do the Celtics Stand?

ESPN New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps has yet to return a call from Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, league sources told ESPN. The sluggish response time is perhaps a message that New Orleans places some responsibility on the Lakers for Davis’ trade request…

Demps is picking up his phone and returning calls — just not from the Lakers, sources said. From Paul George to Leonard to Davis, the Lakers’ front office is growing accustomed to icy receptions from teams enduring All-Star trade demands with a full year left on their contracts.

What is usually a case of Magic Johnson and the Lakers just tampering with anyone and everyone and then pleading ignorance or brushing it off as players talking seems to finally be catching up to them. We saw it before the season even started as LeBron basically committed insider trading on his way to Los Angeles, as we discussed on The 300s Podcast last July.

Now we’re starting to see NBA executives getting fed up with teams just flaunting the rules, especially small market teams like New Orleans that depend on those rules. Now obviously if you think players aren’t talking and pitching each other during vacations and at All-Star games you’re glib, but when players are openly campaigning to play with other players under contract with different teams, that is beyond frustrating.

Especially when LeBron owns the company that employs the agent (Rich Paul) that your star player (Anthony Davis) now shares with LeBron himself. Robert Mueller couldn’t untangle that web of deception.

You can start to see the puppet strings from Rich Paul in recent reports that have come out. Such as the one suggesting that Kyrie wanted to reunite with LeBron and was likely to leave Boston after the season. Essentially just putting reports out there to try and destabilize the perception of Boston as a destination to help expedite a trade of Davis to LA.

The stance of Davis and his camp toward Boston is linked to their view of Kyrie Irving’s future, sources said. Davis and his camp no longer believe that Irving is a sure bet to re-sign with the Celtics this summer, and that’s the primary reason they insist on clumping Boston with a similar message to the 28 other teams: Buyer beware on a trade for Davis.

This is pure agent speak for I want my client in LA so I will float rumors that Boston’s best player is leaving after this season.

Simply put if we get past the next week and Anthony Davis is not traded, there is no way I can see that he doesn’t wind up with the Celtics. If the Pelicans truly are bullshit about the tampering consulting of Davis’ (and LeBron’s) agent to get him to LA, then they for sure won’t trade him before the deadline this year. That would bring us to the offseason when no team can really beat the Celtics’ potential package.

Whether Danny Ainge would ultimately give up Jayson Tatum in any package remains to be seen, but the Lakers don’t have too much that would entice me if I’m Dell Demps. Especially if they’re still pissed because theres no more powerful motivator in this world than spite.

So the big market Los Angeles Lakers are just going to punt on 2019-20 to hopefully sign Anthony Davis the FOLLOWING summer when LeBron will be in his age 35-36 season? Uhhh…

To sign Davis outright in 2020, the Lakers would have to maintain enough cap space for him — which could mean forfeiting the chance to add a star player this summer. The Lakers could sign that star free agent, and then sign-and-trade their young guys for Davis in the summer of 2020. Whatever the case, it’s a complicated path to Davis.

Not to mention if the Lakers want to gut their team to trade for Davis now it would put them in the same exact situation the Knicks were in when they acquired Carmelo Anthony back in 2011. Sure they got their guy, but the team around him after that was garbage.

What’s more, to deal all of their young assets for Davis now would complicate the Lakers’ path to a third star. With only Davis, LeBron and Luol Deng’s stretched salary on their books for 2019-20, the Lakers would have only about $30.5 million in cap space — not enough for a max free agent. They would either have to hope a star takes less than the max, or roll their space over to the summer of 2020 — when the cap will go up again.

So if your the Pelicans, whats the rush?

The Pelicans believe the Lakers will offer the same deal in June and July as they can offer now, which is one more reason to wait on the Celtics.

But it wouldn’t be ESPN if they didn’t end the article without shitting in the cereal bowl of Boston fans with this doomsday scenario:

Still, there are scenarios that concern Boston. For instance, the Celtics could disappoint in the postseason. The Knicks could win the draft lottery and enter the offseason with the one trade asset that tops Tatum: the NBA draft’s No. 1 pick, and the chance to select Duke’s Zion Williamson.

If that isn’t enough, the Knicks could add Kevin Knox to their offer and hope that acquiring Davis would entice a second star free agent to join him. Irving would be on their short list of such players, and the Knicks, armed with Davis and enough cap room for Irving, stand as one the only Irving threats that would unnerve Boston.

The tinfoil hat donning Celtics fans are already starting to freak out about this exact scenario after the Porzingis Woj bomb that dropped out of the sky this afternoon.

The Knicks are essentially hoarding assets and clearing out more cap space for a potential Anthony Davis trade to then turn around and team him up with….a freshly signed max contract Kyrie Irving. It takes some mental gymnastics to get there, but it is a scary thought.

I have more faith in the Browns making the Super Bowl than I do in the Knicks suddenly getting their circus together enough to facilitate one of the great coups in NBA history.

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3 Responses to Tampering LeBron Seems to Be Pissing Off Trade Partners, Knicks Shooting for the Moon With Porzingis Trade and Where Do the Celtics Stand?

  1. Pingback: What Celtics Should Do by Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline | The 300s

  2. Pingback: Anthony Davis NOT Traded Before Deadline. Lakers Now Salty as Celtics Are Very Much in Play. | The 300s

  3. Pingback: The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled Was Convincing the World He Didn’t Tamper With Every Young Player in the NBA | The 300s

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