It was reported on Wednesday that the Los Angeles Lakers are engaged in trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans surrounding star Anthony Davis.
Specifically, the Lakers have made Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball as well as the fourth overall pick in next week’s NBA Draft available to New Orleans.
Another piece of information suggested that New Orleans was holding out for star young forward Kyle Kuzma. There’s a possibility that the Pelicans would pass on the top-five pick if Los Angeles included Kuzma.
Now comes this report from Brandon Robinson of MSG indicating that New Orleans has made a counter-offer to the Lakers.
It includes Los Angeles sending Kuzma, Ball, Josh Hart, the fourth pick in 2019 and a future unprotected first-round pick to New Orleans for Davis.
This move would enable Los Angeles to either retain Ingram as a way to team up with LeBron James and AD or move him for other assets.
The sticking point here is that Los Angeles loves what Kuzma has brought to the table, both from an on-court and off-court perspective. If the team could find a way to make a move for Davis without including Kuzma, it would.
On the other hand, finding a true second star to team up with LeBron might take precedence over keeping Kuzma.
Each of these possibilities would seem to be beneficial to the Pelicans. They are about to select Duke star Zion Williamson No. 1 overall in next week’s draft.
First-year general manager David Griffin wants to build his team around Williamson and Jrue Holiday as well as whatever New Orleans adds in the Davis trade.
The counter proposal would likely lead to Ball being moved for other assets. Meanwhile, Holiday teaming up with Hart in the backcourt while having Williamson and Kuzma in the frontcourt would be a nice starting off point for Nola. Add in the No. 4 overall pick, and that’s magnified further.