Lakers forward, Anthony Davis raised eyebrows this week while speaking to high school basketball players at Perspectives Charter School in Chicago, IL, his alma mater.
During a Q&A portion of the Nike Basketball-sponsored event at Lulu’s Hot Dogs, Davis was asked if he’d ever consider playing for the hometown Chicago Bulls.
“Honestly, it’s nothing like playing at home,” Davis responded.
“I don’t know. … I mean, I am a free agent next year, but we’ll see. It’s a possibility.”
The internet went crazy and Davis later clarified his comments on Tuesday by stating: “I said I’d consider anything.”
“I said I’m focused on winning a championship with the Lakers and, of course, everyone knows I’ll be a free agent next year and we’ll see where it goes.”
How could the Chicago Bulls make that happen? “Davis would be eligble for roughly $35 million next season,” Bleacher Reports’ NBA capologist Eric Pincus told me via text message.
“The Bulls won’t have that space if Otto Porter opts into his final year ($28 million), but if he chooses to opt out, Chicago is awfully close to that mark for Davis. They’d need to renounce the rights to Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, but they could be a couple of million short depending on where their 2020 first-round pick lands. The higher in the draft, the more cap space it eats up. If they can find a taker for Cristiano Felicio, that would help. If not, they can waive and stretch his last year’s salary out over three seasons at $2.5 million a year. Without Porter, Dunn, Valentine and Felicio, they’d easily have room to just sign Davis outright. The key factor is Porter’s decision.”
Meanwhile back at the ranch: Anthony Davis is living his best life as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Through seven games, Davis is averaging 26.6 points and 10.9 rebounds. One of the reasons that Davis is living his best life is because of the cohesion that he and LeBron James have found. “Unstoppable,” Anthony Davis told me on Monday.
“I didn’t think we were going to be able to connect as fast. Just because of the fact, he had a lot of stuff going on in the summer with Space Jam. So we didn’t get a lot of time to work out together. And then we had a short training camp, had to go to China and all of that stuff. So, I’m surprised that he had a little connection right now.”He [LeBron James] made a joke [and said]: ‘We’re not peanut butter and jelly right now, we’re like peanut butter and bananas.’ So we’re getting there. We’re constantly getting there game by game.”
In addition to James and Davis’ chemistry, Anthony Davis also weighed in on the state of the Lakers.
Sitting at 6-1, the Lakers are playing well behind not just Davis and James’ play, but also key contributors like Dwight Howard who as of last Friday, averaged 2.4 blocks per game and notables like Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are holding their weight.
Much has been made about whether the Lakers need to add more depth.
Do the Lakers need a playmaker?
A scorer? “We’re good right now,” Davis tells me.
“We look good right now. We’re starting to get guys back. We’ve got Kuz back, we’re going to get Rondo back soon. So it just depends on what we need at that point and time when guys become available or we’re looking for another guy. So if it comes to the point where we need a playmaker, we might get another playmaker. If we need a scorer? Then we grab another scorer.”
On a September episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes told me that JR Smith could be a person of interest.
“I think the Lakers are giving him a serious look,” Haynes told me.
“I think they want to go into the season with the roster they have,” Haynes added. “(They want to) check the first 10, 15 games, see how things are going, check the list of numbers and percentages and see what they lack before they decide what they’re gonna do.”
Smith played in just 11 games with the Cavs last season. In four starts Smith posted 6.7 points, 1.9 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1 steal. Smith has career averages of 12.5 points on 41.9 percent shooting from the field (37.3 percent from beyond the arc), 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and and 1.0 steal in 971 games.
Another name that has floated around Lakers land not named Andre Iguodala is Jamal Crawford.
“Instant scorer,” Anthony Davis tells me. “If we’re looking for a scorer, he’s definitely on that list. He can score at will, knows the game,very crafty with the ball. So if we’re looking for a scorer, that’s definitely the guy that I could see us going after.”
Jamal Crawford approves:
Anthony Davis tells me he thinks the world of fellow Chicago native, Derrick Rose who through six games is averaging 20.8 points and 6.3 assists for the Detroit Pistons.
I discussed Derrick Rose’s impact on the city of Chicago with Fox 32’s Leon Rogers and Tia Ewing.
What makes Rose special? “The fact that he’s revived his career,” Anthony Davis tells me.
“He’s able now to be happy. He played well in Minnesota, had the 50 point game that just brought him back to life, brought him back on the scene. Now he’s in Detroit doing amazing things. I’m happy for him. Came back here, played the other night, MVP chants, crowd going crazy for him. He’s his old self.”
Anthony Davis scored 15 points and 7 rebounds in the Lakers’ 118-112 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. The Lakers willl resume play on Friday night at Staples Center against the Miami Heat.