The Los Angeles Lakers have been resurgent since making a flurry of moves at the February 9 trade deadline, yet it would appear their success is still contingent on the health of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
On Wednesday, March 15, the Lakers lost to the Houston Rockets in a game where both LeBron and Davis were unable to participate. According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, the recent injury history of their two star players has positioned them to struggle when contending for a championship.
As such, Buckley has proposed testing the waters on a potential Anthony Davis trade in a bid to find a new star that doesn’t have the same injury concerns and can be relied upon to remain healthy.
“Since James has encountered his own injury issues—which are unlikely to decrease with age—the Lakers might want more stability out of their second star.” Buckley wrote. “If they don’t trust Davis to provide it, they owe it to themselves to see how rich his trade market is. If a desperate team would pay a fortune for him, this front office would at least need to give it some thought.”
Despite some stellar performances this season, Davis has once again been in and out of the team’s rotation, participating in just 44 games so far.
Two Teams Seen as Suitors For Anthony Davis
According to a Western Conference Executive, who spoke with Heavy on Sports Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, there are two teams who could make sense as a landing spot for Davis this summer: the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.
Furthermore, the executive believes that should the Lakers trade Davis, there is a chance LeBron could look for a new team too.
“He has an obligation to Anthony Davis, and the only way he gets dealt is if Davis gets dealt, too,” The executive said. “They do not necessarily have to go to the same place, but LeBron is largely responsible for AD being in Los Angeles and is not going to abandon him there. So, if Davis can go to [the] Chicago [Bulls] or [the] Milwaukee [Bucks] or somewhere like that, where he would be happy, then LeBron could look to go elsewhere, too.”
However, given LeBron’s current form and how the Lakers have continued to build around him, it’s unlikely that he would look to leave the purple and gold if they could find another star to pair him with.
Jarred Vanderbilt Sends Strong Message To Lakers
Following the Lakers’ defeat at the hands of the Rockets, recently acquired forward Jarred Vanderbilt had a strong message for his teammates, noting how they can’t afford to keep dropping winnable games.
“We just gotta play the game like it’s our last,” Vanderbilt said. “We’re running out of time. We got what, like 12 games left? We have no more freebies. I mean, we never had none, to begin with. We need all these games. We need to win as much as possible, especially ones like tonight. Against teams that aren’t even fighting for playoff position. Especially Western Conference teams. We need to win those games.”