Pelicans owner Gayle Benson on trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers — ‘Over my dead body’
According to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, the owner gave specific instructions to former general manager Dell Demps, who once refused to take calls from Lakers GM Rob Pelinka during the trade deadline, before ultimately entertaining and then shutting down two offers made by then-president Magic Johnson.
The message has not changed with new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, as he would report directly to Benson in regards to any trades or acquisitions.
“We have been told, I think, through channels – most of us have heard this same scuttlebutt – that Gayle Benson has basically told him, “To the Lakers, over my dead body,” said MacMullan on The Hoop Collective podcast.
This is consistent with an earlier report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (also in the podcast), who said the Pelicans have “no intentions of making a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers” during The Jump early in the week.
Benson has been rumored to have a clear dislike for big market teams, but especially the Lakers, who have operated pompously as of late, expecting big stars like Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to come calling once they become free agents.
Pelinka has also reportedly not gain himself any favors, dating from his time as a bellicose player-agent, representing Kobe Bryant and other popular names before being chosen to join Jeanie Buss’ front office.