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Agents urging Pelicans’ David Griffin not to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers

David Griffin, Anthony Davis

The basketball world has been here before with regard to the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis.

How quickly we forget that the six-time All-Star, in the immediate aftermath of his late January trade demand, seemed well on his way to being sent to the team of his choice as reports emerged that the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans were closing in on a blockbuster trade. Four and-a-half months later, all momentum is again pointing that same direction, with Los Angeles and New Orleans engaged in advanced discussions on the parameters of a trade poised to shake the league landscape to its core.

Many are thrilled at the prospect of Davis teaming with LeBron James to potentially push the latter’s championship wide open after a wasted first season with the Lakers. Perhaps a larger group of NBA followers, though, would be dismayed by Los Angeles being rewarded in the wake of such widespread incompetence by landing a perennial All-NBA talent.

Among them? The agents of multiple players across the league, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, though they seem to have an ulterior motive.

“The entire league don’t want the Lakers to succeed,” he said on ESPN Los Angeles. “[Pelicans president] David Griffin when he talks to other agents is hearing them tell him “Don’t trade with the Lakers because then you’d lose. You lost to the Lakers.”

Griffin, hired in May, is one of the most well-respected executives in basketball. While trading away Davis for any of the Lakers’ reported trade packages would be a decision undoubtedly met with derision, the Pelicans are already operating from a position of weakness here, one that would continue to worsen the longer they wait to address it.

Griffin and New Orleans’ front office are in a tough spot. But if they believe trading Davis to Los Angeles is their team’s best path forward, they should feel comfortable living with the potential fallout of a damaged reputation.