NBA Insider: Agent Rich Paul "Went A Little Too Far"

Paul's "blatant" efforts to get Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the same team created "bad blood" throughout the league

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
February 07, 2019 - 9:16 am

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The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and many analysts and insiders believe Anthony Davis will remain in New Orleans for the rest of the season.

“The sense that I got very early on was they were unimpressed with the Lakers’ trade package – and that’s continued to hold true,” The Action Network NBA insider Matt Moore said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The Lakers have added to it, but the problem is the Pelicans aren’t interesting in quantity; they’re interested in quality. Offering them more mid-level value isn’t going to move the needle on them, especially with Boston having made overtures to say, ‘Just wait, we have all these assets. They’ll all be in play. Just hang on.’ It looks very much like the Pelicans are going to wait, but I’m still a little skeptical.”

Why? Because the Lakers have a history of pulling off blockbusters and getting what they want.

“While league sources have indicated they feel like the Pelicans are reticent to do this deal, there’s still been a sense of, ‘Well, I kind of think the Lakers are going to get it done anyway,’” Moore said. “That’s the confusing part of this. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for the Pelicans to do it. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for the Pelicans to do it now. But the league is kind of operating on the Lakers just kind of always getting these deals done – so we’re still kind of expecting it, even though all the evidence says otherwise.”

Either way, NBA executives are not happy with Rich Paul, who is Davis’ agent – and, of course, LeBron James’ agent. It’s one thing to request a trade demand on AD’s behalf; it’s another to try to orchestrate a trade to the Lakers to satisfy multiple clients.

“I think it went a little too far,” Moore said. “The reaction from the league was considerable. Executives around the league were like, ‘Look, all sorts of nonsense goes on. That’s the league. That’s the NBA.’ But this was so brazen and so blatant, I really think it did spark some bad blood.”