Lakers 'lost themselves' when Anthony Davis trade rumors surfaced, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope says

The Lakers “lost themselves” at the trade deadline, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope told reporters this week.

Los Angeles was reportedly discussing acquiring star Anthony Davis after he asked the Pelicans to move him. The team made multiple offers to New Orleans, according to several reports, but ultimately no deal was reached.

The Lakers entered February with a 27-25 record but ended up missing the playoffs for a sixth straight season.

“At the trade deadline, everybody kind of lost themselves,” Caldwell-Pope said, via ESPN. “That’s all they were worried about. … And I feel like after that, everybody kind of relaxed, calmed down and just started playing basketball and not worrying about the outside talk.”

The Lakers entered the season with high expectations after they signed star LeBron James to a four-year, $153.3 million contract in July. They opened with a 20-14 record, but James suffered a strained groin Dec. 25. He missed the next 17 games and the team never seemed to get back on track.

The Lakers also dealt with injuries to key role players — including Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart — and they shut down James for the rest of 2018-19 in late March.

Los Angeles center Tyson Chandler said the injuries had an impact on the team.

“It was injuries and then the trade rumors,” Chandler said. “I wouldn’t be honest if I was sitting up here not saying the same. It was one of the huge factors in the season. The injuries were tough for us because we were already a young unit. … Having those injuries and not being able to get used to one another I think really affected us.”

Lakers president Magic Johnson stunningly announced he was resigning from his position earlier this week before the team’s final game of 2018-19.

Los Angeles was widely expected to move on from coach Luke Walton this offseason, according to an earlier report from ESPN. But, Walton’s job status is uncertain following Johnson’s announcement, that report says.