Lakers Urged to Trade Anthony Davis to Salvage Future

LeBron James and Anthony Davis

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Davis.

The Los Angeles Lakers have some serious roster construction issues, which could haunt the team well beyond their current disappointing season.

With limited trade chips and a championship window closing, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks the Lakers need to trade star big man Anthony Davis this offseason to maximize the return.

“I didn’t want to say this because I have mad love and respect for Anthony Davis,” Smith said on Sunday’s edition of NBA on ESPN. “If we are going to talk about the Lakers beyond this season — they need to trade Anthony Davis. You don’t keep Anthony Davis. Because his value is his value as a player and his durability is a question mark at age 28. As you get older, those durability questions are going to be more prevalent. So when you think about his stock being about as high as it’s going to be — is that right now? And if you’re looking at LeBron James and the fact that you need additional pieces, I’ve got to say, Anthony Davis is a guy you could get a lot in return for because of his potential.”

While trading Davis — arguably a top 10 player when healthy — sounds foolish, his durability concerns are legitimate. He played just half of the Lakers’ games a year ago due to multiple lower-body injuries and was sidelined in the postseason with a groin injury. Davis suffered a sprained MCL earlier this season, missing 17 games.

The Lakers gave up Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple unprotected first-round picks and swaps to get Davis in 2019. Davis is averaging 23.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and is shooting 53.4% from the field.

Stephen A. Smith on why the Lakers need to trade Anthony Davis | NBA CountdownStephen A. Smith explains why the Los Angeles Lakers would benefit from trading away Anthony Davis at the end of the season. #ESPN #NBA ☑️ Subscribe to ESPN+:​​​​​ 📱Get the ESPN App:​​​​​ 🏀 Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube:​​​​​ ☑️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube:​​​​​ ☑️Watch ESPN on YouTube TV:​​2022-02-13T20:41:13Z

Anthony Davis Admits Early Success ‘Spoiled’ Him

The Lakers have now suffered through two rough seasons that have been run off-course due to injuries. The Lakers are currently 26-31 and are the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference.

Davis admitted the team’s struggles have been hard to deal with, especially considering the roaring start the Lakers got off to after he was traded

“I just want to win. I’ve had seasons where I’ve lost a lot in New Orleans. And it weighed on me. And then I came here and I got spoiled with winning my first year,” Davis told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times in an exclusive interview. “Second year, we go to the playoffs and I feel like we could’ve still been successful if I didn’t have the injury. And this year, everyone counted us out. Said we were old. The whole locker room, we’ve got guys who have chips on their shoulders.

“But for me personally, I just want to win. I don’t want to go back to having losing seasons.”

Anthony Davis Struggling From Free Throw Line

VideoVideo related to lakers urged to trade anthony davis to salvage future2022-02-15T03:44:03-05:00

While Davis has been fairly dominant when able to get on the floor for the Lakers, but a glaring weakness for the eight-time All-Star this season has been his free throw shooting. Davis is shooting a career-worst 70.7% from the charity stripe.

“Obviously, when you miss a lot or some throughout the course of the game, it becomes more mental than anything. You still do your routine, but it becomes more mental because you have time to go out there and think about it,” Davis told reporters. “Missing a shot, you don’t have time to think. So I think just clearing your mind and taking our time and knocking free throws down. Like I said, it starts with me. I’ve been bad as of late and I got to change that.”

The Lakers have just one game remaining before the All-Star break. They take on the Jazz at home.

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