“No we’re not trading him,” Gentry said to open up his media availability. “We’re not trading him under any circumstance. You can move on from that one.”
“That would be amazing,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin of the Lakers hypothetically acquiring Davis. “That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible.”
James’ Lakers teammate Kyle Kuzma, who could potentially be included in a Davis trade, agreed with James’ assessment.
“Michael Jordan would probably want to play with [Davis],” Kuzma said Friday.
Davis, 25, is averaging 28 points, 12.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.8 blocks and 1.7 steals per game for a Pelicans team that is under .500, at 15-17, putting New Orleans 13th in the Western Conference.
Davis, whose agency also represents James, is under contract with the Pelicans for $27.1 million next season and has a player option for 2020-21 worth $28.8 million, meaning the Lakers would have to trade for the five-time All-Star should they want to acquire him before he becomes a free agent.
James’ remarks have sparked debate over whether players should be privy to the same tampering charges to which coaches and front office personnel are subjected.
“Why is it not tampering if players are saying it?” Gentry openly wondered Friday.
He also shot back, “So should we start having [Davis] say, ‘Why don’t we trade for LeBron?'”
Several general managers around the league told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that they reached out to New Orleans GM Dell Demps to express dismay over what they perceive as the NBA’s tacit endorsement of James’ comments.
“It’s New Orleans’ problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us,” one Eastern Conference GM told Wojnarowski. “It’s open season on small markets and our players.”