Anthony Davis Made Major Mistake, Says GM: ‘Has He Really Benefited?’

anthony davis

Getty Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis.

After an amazing start to his Los Angeles Lakers tenure, Anthony Davis has crashed back to earth. During his first season with the team, he was able to stay healthy all year and win a championship. He was consistently excellent that year and cemented himself as a top-five player in the NBA.

A year and a half later and opinions of Davis have changed drastically. He missed much of last season due to injury, including the Lakers’ playoff matchup against the Phoenix Suns. He’s still a very good player when he’s healthy but he hasn’t reached the same heights he did during the championship run.

When he was with the New Orleans Pelicans, it was a completely different dynamic. That team would be happy just to be relevant come playoff time. In Los Angeles, it’s championship or bust every year. Now that Davis isn’t living up to expectations, there have been calls to trade him and people like Charles Barkley have questioned his toughness. According to NBA insider Ric Bucher, Davis might’ve been better off had he not pushed to get traded out of New Orleans.

“I just had this conversation with somebody about Anthony Davis and one GM suggested that he never should’ve left New Orleans,” Bucher said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Yes, he ended up winning a ring with L.A., but in the larger scope of things, has he really benefited? Has the perception of him as a player grown as a result of being in L.A.? There’s a debate to be had whether he had stayed in New Orleans and he had gotten them to a Conference Finals or he had built that team into something, that he would be far more celebrated and appreciated than he is right now.”

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No, Davis Would Not Be Better off in New Orleans

The idea that Davis’ legacy would’ve been more impactful had he helped turn New Orleans into a basketball powerhouse is valid. Giannis Antetokounmpo winning a championship in Milwaukee will only help his legacy. However, Davis isn’t Giannis. He’s not a true No. 1 who can get a team over the hump. That is proven by the fact that the Pelicans only won one playoff series during his seven seasons with the team.

There’s no reason to believe he would’ve gotten them to the Conference Finals had he decided to stay for another five years. That isn’t to say that Davis is a bad player. He’s easily one of the 10 most talented players in the NBA, but it takes more than skill to win a championship. He needed LeBron James to get a ring and it’s hard to imagine he could’ve ever reached the same heights in New Orleans.

Could Davis Actually Get Traded This Offseason?

While coming to Los Angeles wasn’t a mistake, staying there could be for Davis. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with playing LeBron and the Lakers. Perhaps going to a smaller market with lower expectations could be the right career move. Regardless of how he feels, it’s possible the Lakers consider moving him this offseason.

As of right now, that still feels unlikely. When healthy, Davis can still be one of the best players in the league. The last couple of years have been rough but if he gets his body right in the offseason, he could be in for a major bounceback next season. If the same issue persists next season, then the Lakers need to seriously consider moving on from him.

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