With chatter about a potential Los Angeles Lakers deal, starting point guard Russell Westbrook, and his exorbitant $47.1 million contract expiring, Los Angeles may be turning to a tighter renewal on the roster: dumping forward/center Anthony Davis.
In his 10th season in the NBA, the 6’10 big man from the University of Kentucky continued a disturbing trend as he lost 36 games or more for the second year in a row. It has dropped significantly in the past few seasons. He lost some of his lifting power and athleticism, having gained extra weight to play more minutes in the center. But it still has to have value. It will happen when, at 40, healthy. During the 2021-22 season, the 29-year-old averaged 23.2 points, 9.9 plates, 3.1 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals.
LeBron James and Davis have already proven that they can thrive together, having won the title in 2020. A three-point AD shot was a huge part of the Lakers’ Finals success that year. He delivered 38.3% of his 2.9 three times a night. During the Lakers’ most recent postseason in 2020-21, Davis fired just 18.2% from long range. But it could be argued that Davis is not the same player. If LA can move him even deeper to improve James’ chances of catching a fifth ring, shouldn’t the club at least explore its options?
Where could Davis go?
Anthony Davis isn’t exactly a new idea. Even in the midst of Brow’s commercial demands while with the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2018-19 season, the prospect of a Davis deal To join Stephen Curry & Company. It was discussed as an interesting fit.
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Recently, ESPN’s Zach Lowe spoke with guest guest Bill Simmons from The Ringer during the March 7 issue of the previous podcast. Post Lowe About a few hypothetical deals that would send Davis to San Francisco in exchange for depth.
Simmons offers a deal that sends junior All-Star striker Andrew Wiggins, and young wingers Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody (both 2021 lottery picks), for Davis. This was before Wiggins developed into the title team’s second-best player. Both Lowe and Simmons were interchangeable.
A better question might be: Will the reigning heroes actually be willing to radically change their depth?
Moody was an occasional contributor during Golden State’s run to last season’s Finals, although Cumminga was mostly relegated to the losing minutes. Wiggins has developed into an important part of the club’s career. Will the Warriors be ready to seize the chance of Davis, the seven-time All-Star who has the potential to unlock some stunning front-court formations for the club? His injury history will likely give them pause.
Now that Wiggins is the kind of free-to-play two-way everyone hopes he is, given the dramatic ceilings of the two young Warriors wings, the deal could help build Los Angeles’ seating depth. Of course, the team will later need to improve its frontal area.
Granted, the Lakers must continue to work on the phones to find a viable Russell Westbrook trade. If the team is too conservative to give up both of its highly coveted 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, perhaps including just one in Westbrook’s package will suffice. Keeping him on board for most of the 2022-23 season would be a huge mistake. Westbrook’s deal with the Pacers for big man Miles Turner and swingman Buddy Hiel, or a deal with Tottenham midfielder Jacob Boltle, strength striker Doug McDermott, and others, could help address Davies’ hypothetical absence.