The Los Angeles Lakers were in talks with the Phoenix Suns to trade for Trevor Ariza when the Suns NBA trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards went comically bad. However, when the Lakers refused to include any of their core young players in the trade for Ariza, the Suns went back to talking with the Wizards. Phoenix ended up trading Ariza to the Wizards, without the Grizzlies being involved, and the Lakers are still sitting and waiting.

But, what were the Los Angeles Lakers thinking when they refused to throw in any of the young players that would make this NBA trade for Trevor Ariza make sense?

It turns out that Los Angeles have their sights set higher than Ariza and his three-point shooting skills. Much higher.

The Lakers saving young stars for Anthony Davis

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski covered the entire Phoenix-Memphis-Washington fiasco and really painted a picture of how a trade can go bad. The entire flubbed trade was due to the confusion of one player involved. Memphis said they agreed to trade MarShon Brooks but the Suns said it was Dillon Brooks. Both teams accused the other of lying and Memphis was left out of the trade.

Wojnarowski also reported that the Los Angeles Lakers started to talk to the Phoenix Suns again about Trevor Ariza.

He reported that the Lakers refused to throw in any of their core young stars and then said that it was because Los Angeles wanted to save those players for a later trade involving Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Possible Anthony Davis trade

While Trevor Ariza could have given the Los Angeles Lakers some solid three-point help, he was not someone that was important enough to trade away valuable assets for.

He is a slight upgrade over players like Kyle Kuzma but not enough to move the needle.

Anthony Davis is good enough to move that needle and would be a major upgrade over anyone that the Lakers have surrounding LeBron James right now. Davis is also under contract until 2019-20, so the Lakers would have him for at least two seasons before needing to re-sign him, while Ariza was only on a one-year deal.

The Los Angeles Lakers have to either wait two seasons and hope that Anthony Davis leaves New Orleans and signs with them or trade for him -- and they need a lot of moving pieces to make that trade work. If they trade young stars for someone like Ariza, they would have nothing to move for Davis.

The Lakers are within striking distance of first place in the West, but they won't trade away their young talent or draft picks unless they get someone like Anthony Davis -- which is exactly what they are waiting for.