Dells Demps, GM for the New Orleans Pelicans , is not returning calls to Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka .
Per ESPN, Dell Demps has yet to return a call to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, league sources told ESPN.
The sluggish response time is perhaps a message that New Orleans places some responsibility on the Lakers for Davis’ trade request, or perhaps an indication to Davis and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, that the franchise doesn’t plan to easily acquiesce on a trade request to partner with LeBron James.
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.
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.
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 — when James will turn 35 — to keep the requisite cap space open.
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.
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