The Los Angeles Lakers season fully collapsed at the 2019 NBA trade deadline. The team tried to acquire New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis in what would become a dramatically public negotiation but ultimately failed to do so.
Before Davis’ trade request became public, however, the Lakers were nearing a less blockbuster trade, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic:
The need for reinforcements was glaring, and on the weekend of Jan. 25, the Lakers had a tentative deal in place to acquire Bulls forward Jabari Parker in exchange for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley, league sources told The Athletic. However, Caldwell-Pope — another Rich Paul client — had to approve any trade and had not signed off on the deal. The Bulls awaited Caldwell-Pope’s approval over that weekend, sources said.
The deal remained in limbo until Jan. 28, when Davis requested a trade out of New Orleans. With most around the league viewing that statement, issued by Paul, as an effort to team Davis with James in L.A., the Bulls moved on and realized the Lakers would cease business until the Davis saga unfolded. Chicago eventually traded Parker to Washington for Otto Porter Jr. at the deadline.
The Lakers’ desire to trade for Jabari Parker (and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s involvement) are not new stories. They were first reported by Brian Windhorst in February. But the fact that the deal was almost completed, pending KCP’s approval, and the timing of it are significant new pieces of information.
It should be noted that while Davis’ request became public on the 28th, Rich Paul made it known that Davis had informed the Pelicans of his demand days prior, perhaps adding up to the timetable of the attempted KCP trade. So, it can be presumed that the request was a ploy by Paul and Klutch to keep KCP in LA, or only trade him if it meant a different Klutch client would be teaming up with James.
As for the trade, it should be mentioned that KCP and Beasley’s combined salary would not have been enough to acquire Parker, meaning more pieces would have been involved. Nevertheless, trading for Parker, a non-shooter and awful defender, to add him to a roster filled with those kinds of players is certainly an idea.
The trade falling through did have effects on the team later, however. The Lakers ended up trading Beasley alongside Ivica Zubac to create the roster spot that the KCP and Parker trade would allegedly create. While both trades would do little good, only one was majorly hurtful.