The Los Angeles Lakers announced a devastating Anthony Davis injury update on December 23. The eight-time All-Star, who injured his right foot on December 16 against the Denver Nuggets, has a stress injury in his foot and will be out indefinitely.
“After extensive consultation with Lakers team physicians and outside specialists, it has been determined that Anthony Davis has a stress injury in his right foot,” the Lakers said. “Davis will be out indefinitely. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.”
Davis has appeared in 25 games this season for the Lakers, who are 13-18. The Chicago native is averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 59.3% from the field, 29.0% from beyond the arc and 82.6% from the free-throw line.
A future Hall of Famer, Davis hasn’t been able to stay healthy since helping the Lakers win the 2020 championship over the Miami Heat at the Walt Disney World bubble. The Kentucky product played only 36 games in 2020-21 and 40 games in 2021-22.
Report: There’s Hope That Anthony Davis Won’t Need a Procedure
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Davis is expected to rest for another week or so before getting re-evaluated by doctors. There’s hope that a procedure can be avoided.
The Lakers are going to struggle without Davis despite the brilliance of LeBron James. AD is 11th in the NBA in points per game, third in rebounds per game, second in player efficiency rating and third in blocks per game. Davis has a plus-minus of +48 this season. The Lakers’ offensive rating drops by 4.8 points when the All-NBA big man isn’t on the court.
Davis, who has the same agent as James, signed a five-year, $190 million contract with the Lakers in December 2020. The deal includes an early termination option in 2024 and will be fully up in 2025.
What Are the Lakers Going to Do Without Anthony Davis?
The Lakers will likely make a small trade now that Davis is out, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on December 21. Los Angeles wants to trade guards Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn for a “3-and-D wing or combo forward.”
“Davis’ injury has increased the probability that the only move the Lakers make is a smaller trade featuring, at most, one first-round pick, sources with knowledge of the Lakers’ plans told The Athletic,” Buha reported. “The one exception is if a star that can grow alongside Davis over the next few years becomes available. But the most likely trade outcome, at this point, is some form of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and either the 2027 or 2029 first-round pick (likely protected) for a 3-and-D wing or combo forward that fits well next Davis and James, those sources said. As The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported last week, Russell Westbrook is likely to stay with the Lakers past the trade deadline, unless the team can find a deal ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline that requires them to trade only one of their future first-round picks.”
The Lakers don’t believe there is a trade available out there that will immediately turn the team into a contender. Los Angeles only has James ($46.9 million), Davis ($40.6 million) and Max Christie ($1.7 million) under contract for the 2023-24 season. With the salary cap projected to be $134 million, the Lakers want to maintain cap flexibility.