The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be the subject of trade rumors given the team’s frustrating start to the season. With Anthony Davis once again sidelined, some Lakers fans are wondering if the team could consider trading their star big man. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor admitted it would be “shocking” if the Lakers moved Davis.
“You can’t be totally sure of almost anything in the NBA,” O’Connor detailed during a December 20 mailbag. “The no. 1 rule is to expect the unexpected. But it would be shocking if the Lakers decided it was time to dump him when LeBron James wanted Davis, a fellow client of Klutch Sports. Would AD want out of L.A.? Would Klutch want AD out?”
O’Connor noted that the Bulls could be a landing spot for Davis “in a few years.” The analyst wonders if the Lakers could be reunited with Lonzo Ball in this hypothetical scenario.
“I just don’t see it,” O’Connor added. “In a few years? Sure, why not. Who knows what will happen as LeBron approaches age 40. AD has already said he’d ‘definitely consider’ playing for his hometown Bulls if the opportunity presented itself. Totally speculating here, but maybe in a future hypothetical sign-and-trade, AD-to-Chicago would be Lonzo Ball’s path back to Los Angeles.”
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Davis Is Under Contract With the Lakers Through the 2024-25 Season
Davis is under contract with the Lakers through the 2024-25 season on his five-year, $189.9 million deal. The big man has a $35.3 million salary this season which escalates all the way up to $43.2 million during the final year of his contract. Barring an extension, LeBron James will be a free agent after the 2022-23 season. O’Connor believes the Lakers are also to blame for Davis’ struggles as the team may be asking too much from the superstar.
“But the Lakers also need to make life easier on Davis,” O’Connor detailed. “AD’s workload was massive before the injury. He has bulked up, and is undoubtedly heavier than in past seasons, likely in anticipation of playing more center. He chases perimeter players on defense and runs the floor back on offense. He takes a ton of shots, handles the ball, and tries to anchor a defense that lacks the perimeter stoppers it’s had in past years.”
A.D. Will Miss at Least One Month With a Strained MCL Injury
The Lakers star is expected to be sidelined with an MCL injury for at least one month. Dating back to last season, Davis has received his fair share of criticism for dealing with multiple injures. Davis noted that he is trying to lean on some of the wisdom of his wife to get through another injury.
“(She’s) very spiritual, and believes that this is a time for me to get my mind right, get the leg right, get the body right, and that I’ll be back stronger than ever,” Davis said, per The Athletic’s Bill Oram.
As for the trade deadline, it is more than likely that James, Davis and Russell Westbrook are not moved to another team. That leaves Talen Horton-Tucker as the Lakers’ most tradable asset, but the front office has thus far been reluctant to deal one of the few young players on their roster.