It has been a wild ride for the Lakers this season. Following another losing game against the Dallas Mavericks with 110-128, the Los Angeles Lakers are now 11th in the Western Conference. In the offseason, many considered the Lakers would be a championship contender, however, with 31-44 on their record, their opportunity even at the playoff might be already jeopardized.
Injuries, chemistry issues, and too much depending on LeBron James are some of the biggest reasons that the team has dwelt with. Meanwhile, James has been a positive takeaway for the team. Though Anthony Davis was one of the vital pieces, he was missing a few last games due to his ankle injury. The former Pelican has only played 37 games this season and is currently recovering from a right ankle sprain.
NBA Insider and ESPN analyst, Brian Windhorst, revealed that the Lakers general manager, Rob Pelinka might consider trading Davis. Perhaps, the biggest reason was Davis’ injury record.
Davis’ ankle landed in an awkward position when he caught a pass from a teammate, Malik Monk, right in front of the rim in a game against the Utah Jazz in mid-February. The 29-year-old was trying to make a rebound but unfortunately landed incorrectly as his right ankle bent after making contact with Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
“Obviously it’s sickening to see AD(Anthony Davis) go down in that fashion,” James said at that time. “I hope he’s fine. Obviously, I mean, I know he’s not like, great, but obviously, his health is most important for him individually, for our ballclub. I’ve seen [teammates get injured] too many times, obviously. So I just wish him the best.”
Davis went down in visible pain immediately and he took several minutes down the floor. Eventually, he was helped by teammates and staff straight into the locker room. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports that Davis underwent X-rays the next day. The results came back with no structural damage, fortunately.
In the latest game against Dallas, Davis was still absent. Although this was not unexpected, following Davis’s several injuries, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned during a performance on “Get Up” on Tuesday that he believes the Lakers are discussing a potential replacement for Davis this summer.
Davis trade rumor
“I think it’s going to be something that’s going to be discussed,” Windhorst said referring to the Lakers’ potential desire to switch AD.
The 2020 NBA Champion played for 601 games. With an average of 34.4 minutes, he has an estimated 23.8 points per game with 10.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals. If the Lakers do trade Davis, the player will attract interest in the trading market.
The question is will manager Pelinka succeed to find a supporting cast for James, while still not being able to move away from the albatross of Russell Westbrook’s contract.
In the meantime, if the Lakers fail to make the playoffs, in what many believe, former MVP, Westbrook will be traded, that is if any team is willing to accept him. In a recent interview on New York Times‘ podcast by Marc Stein, Jake Fischer of Bleacher reported what he heard from the New York Knicks.
”I pitched the idea to Knicks people time and again going back to the deadline, and they have no interest,” Fischer said. “… Everything I’ve heard is that New York is trying to grow this group as it is and mix and match a few parts and move forward.”