It’s been a rough season for the Los Angeles Lakers thus far. After failing to make the playoffs (or Play-In Tournament) last year, they’re aiming to get back there this season. Unfortunately, they’ve dealt with some unfortunate injury luck this season.
The biggest injury they’ve dealt with this season involved Anthony Davis, who missed 20 games with an injured right foot. He hadn’t appeared in a game for the Lakers since December 16, but returned to action in their January 25 win over the San Antonio Spurs. After the game, he spoke with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell about his return.
“I feel great. It felt good out on the floor,” Davis told Trudell. “Foot feels fine. Good to be out there with the guys battling. It was good because it was a close game. We really had to battle until the last, maybe, four, five minutes. It was a good test for me going into this road trip. But overall, man, I’m happy to be back on the court with these guys, battling, man. It was a long five-and-a-half weeks, so it feels good to come back and get a win and, ultimately, just be back on the court with these guys, supporting.”
While head coach Darvin Ham and the Lakers chose to bring Davis off the bench in his first game back, he still managed to make a big-time impact in the win. In the 26:11 of court time he received, Davis put up a team-high 21 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a game-high four blocks. It was an impressive performance, especially considering it was his first game back.
Before going down with an injury, Davis was playing at an MVP-caliber level. He’s appeared in just 26 of the Lakers’ 49 games and is playing 33.2 minutes per contest. The big man is averaging 27.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game on 59.0% shooting from the field and 29.4% shooting from behind the three-point line.
Lakers Linked to Zach LaVine as Trade Target
With Davis back on the court, the Lakers have a chance to make a real playoff push. However, as the February 9 trade deadline approaches, they should be scouring the market for potential deals. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, Chicago Bulls star Zach LaVine should be on their radar.
“Look, there might be a million and one more likely scenarios for the Lakers than a megadeal for Zach LaVine, but this franchise owes it to itself—and its stars—to leave no stone unturned in its search for upgrades,” Buckley wrote. “The Lakers didn’t really crack into their asset collection to add Hachimura. They still have two future first-round picks at their disposal, plus sizable salaries to make the money work. If a star becomes available, they’ll have a non-zero chance of winning the bidding war. Should the Chicago Bulls decide this current core isn’t cutting it, they might be willing to unload LaVine and the mountain of money he’ll collect over at least the next three seasons (player option for 2026-27). The 27-year-old’s ability to thrive both on and off the ball could make him a snug fit with James and Davis.”
Lakers Linked to Trae Young
In addition, there could be room for moves after the season is over. Sources who spoke with Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report linked the Lakers to Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young.
“I think Trae will want out after the season,” an NBA source told Pincus. “The Hawks probably try to get out of John Collins and others by the deadline, but Trae’s a long shot. Maybe the [Lakers] in July with his ties to Klutch [Sports].”