Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson said the New Orleans Pelicans operated in bad faith during negotiations with his team over a deal for superstar Anthony Davis. However, he said he isn't dwelling on the trade deadline failure and wants his players to shift their focus forward.
"We knew that basically at the end of the day, what happened happened," Johnson said before the Lakers' 140-123 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday. "And we knew that when we first started, in terms of what happened. But hey, it is what it is."
Johnson was asked whether the New Orleans front office -- run by general manager Dell Demps and executive vice president Mickey Loomis -- acted in good faith from the time Davis' trade request became public until the deadline passed without a deal.
Johnson replied flatly, "No." But Johnson pushed back against the notion that the public nature of the negotiations was unfair to L.A.'s young core, as players heard their names mentioned as trade chips on an almost daily basis.
"Quit making this about thinking these guys are babies because that's what you're treating them like," Johnson said. "They're professionals. All of them. And this is how this league works. They know it, I know it -- that's how it goes.