Based on how the season has gone so far, the Los Angeles Lakers clearly value Anthony Davis‘ long-term health above anything. They played it really safe with him for a while but injuries got the best of him and now he’s out indefinitely with a calf strain. There has been talk about him coming back after All-Star weekend but now that timeline doesn’t seem so clear.
According to former NBA player Kendrick Perkins, Davis’ agent Rich Paul is going to play this whole thing very safe.
“Rich Paul called me this morning, Stephen A. [Smith], and he told me to make it very, very clear that no one and nobody is going to rush Anthony Davis back, and his health is first,” Perkins said on ESPN’s Stephen A’s World. “He even said that if it’s leading up to the first or second week going into the postseason of [AD’s return], then so be it. That’s how long Anthony Davis could be out.”
The playoffs won’t start until late May at the earliest. If Davis does sit out for that long, he’s going to be very rusty come playoff time. The almost three months off would be longer than what he got this past offseason.
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Should Lakers Be Concerned?
If LeBron James was 26-years-old, the Lakers wouldn’t have much to worry about. He’d easily lead them to the playoffs and keep the team ready for when Davis returns. Unfortunately, LeBron is 36 and while he’s still playing at an elite level, the Lakers probably don’t love the idea of giving him such a heavy workload for the rest of the season. He hasn’t even taken one game off yet.
LeBron will probably be fine but this is far from ideal for Los Angeles. Luckily, it doesn’t sound like Davis’ injury is that concerning. He’s almost certainly being kept out for precautionary reasons. The Lakers are in a place where they can afford to not have Davis for a period of time and still win a lot of games. What should concern the team is that the big man might not play until after the playoffs start. LeBron is probably not leading this Lakers team to a championship without Davis playing at a high level. Hopefully, Paul is just being overly cautious and the team will have Davis back within the next two months.
Lakers Could Add Help With Davis Absent
If the Lakers are planning on holding Davis out for most of the regular season, then they should consider adding some help. Obviously, nobody as good as Davis is going to fall on their lap but there could be some good options. Blake Griffin may be past his prime but he’s still capable of making some big plays. He could be landing on the buyout market after the trade deadline. If that happens, the Lakers should give him a call.
Andre Drummond is another guy who could find himself on the buyout market. He’s more of a center while Davis is more of a power forward but he’s got solid scoring ability and is an elite rebounder.