The Lakers may have had a little outside help pushing Anthony Davis their way.
Kendrick Perkins, who played with LeBron James in AAU and with the Cavaliers, befriended Davis during the 2015-16 season, his lone campaign with the Pelicans. During the course of the year, Perkins would gush about James to Davis.
“I used to brag about Bron a lot with him,” Perkins told ESPN, where he now works as an analyst. “He really didn’t have to ask me [about James]. I was doing more of the talking.”
Perkins, who played in just 35 games for New Orleans on the minimum salary, later introduced Davis to James’ agent Rich Paul when the center was looking for new representation in 2018. Davis signed with Paul’s Klutch Sports and eventually demanded a trade that landed him with the Lakers this offseason.
The Pelican nabbed Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick in the draft and at least got a haul in return from the Lakers that included Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks to rebuild around a young core.