The Los Angeles Lakers are considering starting Anthony Davis at center and he’s clearly not a big fan of the idea.
The idea of Davis seeing more time at the 5 is nothing new and has been floated previously. However, it’s a shift he’s pushed back against during his time with the Lakers.
First-year head coach Darvin Ham is still figuring out what the starting lineup will look like and Davis starting at center is under “heavy consideration.” Davis will ultimately roll with what the team wants but again made his feelings fairly clear after the Lakers’ preseason matchup against the Timberwolves.
“I trust coach’s decision. I mean, I’m pretty sure he heard AD wants to play the 4, so he knows where I stand,” Davis said, “but at the end of the day, I want to win, so if that’s me playing the 5, that’s what it’s got to be.”
Davis has been starting at center during the preseason and has looked stellar. His strongest performance came against the Warriors, notching 28 points in 21 minutes, also grabbing three rebounds and doling out three assists. Against Minnesota, he had a double-double in 27 minutes of work with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting with 13 rebounds.
The Lakers signed Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones this offseason as more traditional centers but neither has received a ton of run.
Lakers Concerned With Keeping Anthony Davis Healthy
The Lakers have historically performed well with Davis at center with the ability to put more shooters on the floor and adding more speed and playmaking to the offense.
But the main concern with the move is the health of Davis, who has been known as injury-prone throughout his career and is coming off a season where he missed 42 games due to knee and ankle issues. He revealed during training camp that he was also dealing with a wrist ailment that was previously undisclosed.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but since January I was battling a wrist injury the whole year,” Davis said on September 28. “So it was affecting my shot and everything. That’s not an excuse but it was tough for me to shoot how I wanted to shoot. I couldn’t really follow through.”
Davis was a last-minute scratch for a preseason game against the Suns with what the Lakers dubbed lower back tightness. Ham downplayed any concern over the injury.
“We need him to be available (for the regular season),” Ham said on October 5. “We’re just being precautionary.”
Dennis Schroder in Action for Lakers After Visa Issues
Another piece of the puzzle for the Lakers is Dennis Schroder, who arrived recently at camp after going through some visa issues. He played his first minutes of the preseason against the Timberwolves on Wednesday but didn’t record a point, going 0-of-4 from the field in 9 minutes of play.
“It’s just great to have him back,” Lakers star LeBron James said after the game. “I don’t care about the misses and the makes, we just want him caught up to speed with what we’ve been doing.”
After a rough ending to his first stint with the Lakers, Schroder is eager to have a better outcome this time around. He returned to the Lakers in September on a one-year, $2.64 million contract.
What caught the Lakers’ attention was his performance at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged 22.1 points and 7.1 assists, helping lead his native Germany to a third-place finish.