After last season, Anthony Davis solidified himself as one of the five best players in the NBA. He averaged 26.1 points a game and was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year while leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship. He was so good that ESPN rated him as the second-best player in the NBA behind LeBron James.
Opinions have changed drastically on Davis after this season. His points-per-game average dropped to 21.8 and he missed 36 games due to injury. He also missed time in the playoffs with a groin injury. Davis has dealt with injuries all throughout his career but the Lakers were able to avoid it being an issue last season.
It’s fair to question if the team will have a healthy Davis for a full season again throughout his contract. Some believe Los Angeles needs to move on from him already. NBA analyst Chris Palmer urged the Lakers to trade Davis for Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard.
Lillard hasn’t requested a trade yet but there have been rumblings that he could want out of Portland. If they had to trade the superstar, it’s hard to imagine they find a better return than Davis.
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Colin Cowherd Also Believes Lakers Should Trade Davis
Palmer is not alone in the belief the Lakers and Blazers should do a Davis for Lillard swap. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd took to his show The Herd to propose the deal.
From the Blazers’ standpoint, this would make sense if Lillard wants to force his way out. They won’t get a player better than Davis in a trade. Sure, they could get a haul of draft picks and young players but Davis is one of the top-five players in the league when he’s healthy. One down year doesn’t mean that he’s washed up. He’s still just 28-years-old, which is two years younger than Lillard. If this deal happened, it would be one of the biggest superstar swaps in NBA history.
Why the Lakers Won’t Trade Davis
Lillard is an awesome player. He’s consistently making highlight-reel shots and epic performances. He deserves to be on a contending team and he would be an excellent fit on the Lakers. However, the team should only go after him if they can make it work with Davis and LeBron.
There are many reasons the Lakers won’t be trading the star big man anytime soon. First of all, the team has historically been very loyal to its star players. Davis brought the team a championship just a season ago and played extremely well. He committed to a five-year contract to Los Angeles last season so they’d be doing him dirty if they traded him. Also, it’s no secret that LeBron and Davis share an agent and are very close friends. The Lakers aren’t going to make a trade this big without consulting LeBron, who would likely veto the idea. He’d obviously love to play with Lillard but not at the expense of sending away one of his closest friends who also happens to be an elite player.
Lillard on the Lakers would be perfect but only if Davis is still on the squad.