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Pelicans Owner Reportedly Makes Strong Statement On Anthony Davis-Lakers Trade

A closeup of Anthony Davis with his hands on his hips.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 22: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans watches the action against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

New Orleans Pelicans owner Gayle Benson has now apparently made it clear that under no circumstances will the Pelicans work out a deal with the Lakers for Anthony Davis.

The Lakers were reportedly Davis' preferred destination when he wanted to be dealt during the season. He and LeBron James are both represented by Klutch Sports and would make a formidable duo.

However, according to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan via NBC Sports, Benson has proclaimed that a Davis trade to the Lakers would only happen "over my dead body."

We have been told, I think, through channels – most of us have heard this same scuttlebutt – that Gayle Benson has basically told him, “To the Lakers, over my dead body.”

The alleged statement comes after the Pelicans received the No. 1 overall pick from the NBA Draft lottery. The Lakers received the No. 4 overall pick.

Despite receiving the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, reports seem to indicate that the prospect of playing alongside Zion Williamson isn't strong enough to sway Davis to stay. As a result, there has been plenty of speculation that a team like the Knicks or Lakers could bundle their picks with several young talents to make a deal for Davis come to fruition.

But it would seem that the Pelicans owner has no plans on doing business with the Lakers any time soon.

The Lakers attempted to swing a trade for Davis before the NBA trade deadline this past year. But whatever it is that the two sides were working on ultimately fell through.

Then-general manager Dell Demps paid for the botched trade with his job.

Meanwhile, neither Davis nor any members of the Lakers organization received anything more than a slap on the wrist for accusations of tampering.

The Pelicans need to figure something out with Davis though. He is in the final year of his contract and doesn't seem poised to stick around, even if he stays long enough to team up with Zion.

UPDATE: Fletcher Mackel of WDSU has since refuted the ESPN report.

Having reportedly interviewed Benson, Mackel reported that Benson calls the reports of the "over my dead body" statement completely untrue.