Did the Pelicans sabotage the Lakers as revenge for tampering with Anthony Davis?

Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

From the NBA Newswire at 985TheSportsHub.com

The Celtics may not end up getting Anthony Davis, but it sounds like the Pelicans power forward may not end up going anywhere at all.

With the NBA trade deadline on the horizon, the latest reports suggest that trade talks have completely broken down between New Orleans and the Los Angeles Lakers. Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that the Lakers have pulled out of trade negotiations because of the Pelicans' outrageous demands.

Speaking of those demands, exact offers have been reported, and some of them included more than half of the Lakers' young roster. One offer included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac, plus guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope thrown in - in addition to multiple draft picks.

Ask ESPN's Brian Windhorst, who has long been closely connected to LeBron James, and he'll tell you this was no normal trade talk breakdown. He believes the Pelicans orchestrated a plan to disrupt the Lakers locker room by leaking rumors about most of the team being traded away.

"It's not just possible - it's what happened," Windhorst told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "I know that the Pelicans … have a method to their madness in the way this went. Did they know it was going to lead to a 40-point loss because everybody’s upset? Not necessarily."

Windhorst continued: "There is an information war going on right now. It's not even necessarily just about Anthony Davis, and it's not just the Pelicans and Lakers playing. There are other teams playing as well. I’ve never in 16 years covering the NBA have ever seen anything like this. It's fascinating. And it's not even about the trade. It's about everything going on around the trade, and it's why there’s not going to be any trade.”

The Pelicans' motivation? Revenge for what they viewed as tampering, when Davis' desire for a trade first surfaced and immediately connected him to the Lakers.

The Pelicans released the following statement in the wake of Davis' agent, Rich Paul, publicly calling for a trade:

"This past weekend, Anthony Davis’ representatives informed us that Anthony does not wish to sign a contract extension with our team and subsequently has requested a trade. Although we are disappointed in this decision, our organization’s top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and fans and build our team for long-term success.

Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our terms and our timeline. One that makes the most sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside of our organization. We have also requested the League to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction."

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Lakers lost 136-94 to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday - the worst loss of LeBron James' career. It's definitely a coincidence that they happen to be facing the hometown Celtics on Thursday at TD Garden. We'll see if the game happens against the backdrop of a big trade that went down on deadline day.

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