Pelicans’ GM not returning Lakers’ calls; has returned other calls

Pelicans general manager Dell Demps had been listening to trade offers for star big man Anthony Davis in early February.

New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps has not yet returned a call from Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka about a potential Anthony Davis trade, according to an ESPN report.

Another opposing GM told Amico Hoops on Wednesday that Demps has returned his calls about Davis on two occasions. “Communication has not been a problem for us,” the GM said.

According to sources, Demps has indeed been returning calls from other teams. None could say if he has been avoiding the Lakers. Per ESPN, he has been.

“For now, Demps is following the San Antonio Spurs’ initial playbook with Kawhi Leonard from a year ago: Accept calls and listen to deal concepts and offers,” ESPN reported. “Demps is picking up his phone and returning calls — just not from the Lakers.”

Davis requested a trade over the weekend. It is believed he is angling for a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, is also the agent for Lakers star LeBron James, who has made no secret of his desire for Davis to join the team.

But the Pelicans are clearly set against making that trade, or any deal, go down easily.

“As of now, the Pelicans see no reason to deliver Davis to the Lakers in a deal with a full season left on his contract — never mind do it on a timeline that benefits mostly the objectives of Los Angeles and Davis,” ESPN reported. “New Orleans officials are prepared to play the long game on Davis’ future, embarking on an uncomfortable, if not combative process that could extend months beyond next Thursday’s trade deadline.”

ESPN later added:

“If Davis wants to be a Laker, the Pelicans’ mantra so far is simply: Feel free to join L.A. as a free agent in 2020 — and potentially punt on the 2019-20 season, with LeBron at age 35, to keep the requisite cap space open.”

The Pelicans have indicated they may until after next Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline to deal Davis.

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