In February, some believed that trading the trio of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball for New Orleans Pelicans’ star Anthony Davis would be a fleece. Not Kobe Bryant, who believes that Davis is better than all three of the Los Angeles Lakers young core.
Speaking to Spanish sports website AS.com Bryant said, “Kuzma, Lonzo, Ingram ... are the three of them better than Anthony Davis? No! Ciao! Bye! Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the world. Not currently, in history. What are we talking about? If you can trade for Anthony Davis, you do it. If not, alright. We have three players who are very young and work hard. They’re smart and they have to develop. But if you can trade for Anthony Davis ... yes.”
Bryant’s comments came in response to a question regarding if pursuing Davis misled the franchise and its young players.
An almost blockbuster deal
In late January, news broke that Davis had requested a trade from the Pelicans. Davis, 26, is not set to become a free agent until next summer, but wants out of New Orleans.
The Lakers promptly pursued Davis, hoping to add another star to pair with All-Star forward LeBron James. Up until the 2019 trade deadline, the Lakers sent a variety of offers to the Pelicans including parts of their young core, first-round picks and more.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Pelicans did not accept the team’s final offer which included a package comprised of Ball, Kuzma, Ingram, Josh Hart Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and two first-round draft picks.
The team eventually pulled out of any trade talks and shifted into more short-term moves by trading for Mike Muscala and Reggie Bullock.
While the two sides were unable to come to an agreement by the deadline, the Lakers are still expected to pursue Davis this summer. Likely joining them will be the Boston Celtics.
Until then, however, the Lakers trail the Los Angeles Clippers by 9.5 games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 12 games left to play. Both Ball and Ingram are out for the remainder of the season.
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