LeBron James Sends Strong Message to Anthony Davis Following Lakers Win

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers registered their sixth win of the season on November 25, defeating the San Antonio Spurs 105-94.

When speaking to the media following the game, LeBron James, who was playing his first game since returning from injury, heaped praise onto Anthony Davis, suggesting the superstar big man has been the best player in the NBA for the past few weeks.

“The guys played some good basketball when I was out. I thought AD was the best player in the league over the last four, or five games. Just his numbers and productivity, on both sides of the floor, it’s not just offensively but defensively he’s been super engaged. And tonight, once again, he was amazing,” LeBron said.

Over his last six games, Davis has been putting up some incredible numbers, averaging 31.8 points, 17 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.7 blocks, and two steals per game while converting his shots at a 61.7% clip. Hopefully, as the Lakers return to full strength, Davis can continue to play at his current level, because he’s Los Angeles’ best chance of returning to the post-season at the first time of asking.

Knicks Keeping an Eye on Anthony Davis

According to an Eastern Conference executive, who spoke with Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, the New York Knicks are attempting to position themselves to acquire a superstar player once one becomes available, with Anthony Davis being a name among their list of targets.

“The Knicks are still trying to stockpile picks. That is what it is all about for them. They are approaching things like there will be a star who they can get—Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony Davis, (Kevin) Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns, someone—a star who comes on the market soon. They want picks…If they can get two first-rounders for Quickley, they would but that is too high a price. Maybe a young guy or a prospect playing in Europe, someone like that, and a first-rounder, a protected first-rounder, that is probably where the market ends up on him,” The executive said.

Davis’ performances have certainly reaffirmed the belief that he’s among the most dominant players in the NBA, and thus, has increased his trade value around the league, however, it seems unlikely Rob Pelinka would trade the player he’s always viewed as the Lakers long-term successor to LeBron.

LeBron Urged to Become Lakers 2nd Option

Given how well Davis’ has been performing in LeBron’s absence, it’s fair to assume that he’s better suited to leading the Lakers’ offense than he is playing a supporting role behind LeBron. According to Keith Smith, who was speaking on a November 22 episode of the Postin’ Up with Keith Smith & Adam Taylor podcast, the Lakers’ best chance of success will be with LeBron stepping into a secondary role behind Davis for the remainder of the season.

“I think the Lakers if they wanna be the team they wanna be, not just this year, but over the next couple of years, LeBron has to start to ‘alright, this is AD’s team now,’ and start to take that step back. And then, he can still be LeBron when you need him to be. But, the important part will be, if you only need him to be LeBron once outta every four or five games, that’s better than him trying to be old-school LeBron, two, three, four nights out of four. That’s where I think, you’ve gotta really let him start to use AD,” Smith said.

LeBron is an elite passer and playmaker, so asking him to become more of a table-setter, rather than a focal point of the offense, wouldn’t be too much of an alteration for him, but for now, we will have to wait and see if he’s willing to take a slight step back in role for the first time in his career.

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