Rich Paul & Lakers’ Anthony Davis Keeping Free Agency Options Open

Anthony Davis Lakers

Getty Forward Anthony Davis talks to the media as he is introduced by his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers made a number of moves this offseason, though none was bigger than landing LeBron James his superstar running mate in Anthony Davis. Going into just his age-26 season, Davis has already accomplished an extraordinary amount in his young career. A multiple-time first-team All-NBAer, a perennial All-Defense honoree, and the league’s three-time leader in blocks, the only things Davis seems to be missing from his trophy case are an MVP and NBA Finals trophy.

Rich Paul & Lakers’ Anthony Davis Keeping Free Agency Options Open

While Davis seems excited to be out of New Orleans and the Lakers were his primary trade destination, it seems that he and agent Rich Paul are already coming up with a backup plan in case things don’t go as planned.

“The 2020 free-agent pool is short on stars, but they could be one of the favorites for big fish Anthony Davis if the Lakers implode,” New York Post’s Mike Berman writes, “Rich Paul, Davis’ agent, likes the idea of his client in New York, according to a source.”

While it seems unlikely that this Lakers team will wind up stumbling and missing the playoffs once again, the Lakers saw just how unforgiving the injury bug could be last season and how fickle good health can be. That said, assuming the team stays healthy, they should have no problem competing for a top spot in the Western Conference while being loaded up for a deep run into the playoffs.

Anthony Davis’ Impact on the Lakers

Davis offers the Lakers an invaluable two-way weapon capable of making game-changing plays on both sides of the court. On the offensive end, Davis is one of the game’s preeminent finishers near the basket and uses his blend of size, skill, and athleticism to create easy looks near the hoop that most big men simply don’t have the body control to pull off. This elite athleticism and finishing ability make him an extremely deadly roll target to the rim for LeBron James. In fact, pick and roll sets involving James and Davis look nearly unguardable on paper.

While not an elite shooter, Davis has shown a capability to effectively knock down the deep ball and seems to have been putting some offseason work into helping make his shot a bit more consistent. Already roughly a league-average shooter, Davis could potentially reach levels that we cannot fathom if he unlocks a steady above-average deep ball.

From a defensive standpoint, Davis’ presence gives the Lakers another high-level rim protector to shut down the interior. While JaVale McGee did an excellent job protecting the rim by himself in the center position last year, Davis’ presence will give centers like DeMarcus Cousins and McGee some assistance near the rim and potentially turn the Lakers into one of the best interior defensive teams in the league. Especially with Davis expected to see the bulk of his minutes back at power forward – where his skill set can really shine – the Lakers look poised to make a huge defensive jump this year on the back of Davis’ play.

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