The Lakers have been on the struggle bus all season long. Now the idea of the team trading Anthony Davis has been broached, and it might make more sense than people think. Stephen A. Smith talked about this on First Take and made some valid points.
“His value is his value as a player, but durability is a question mark at age 28.”
Even with Davis’ recent injury history, he’d likely bring a haul of both draft picks and players for LA the same way he did for the Pelicans when they traded him to the Lakers. I’m thinking maybe a couple of good players and at least two to three first-round draft picks. That’s at the least. Because everyone knows the Lakers won’t get equal value for what Davis brings on the court.
But Stephen A. makes an excellent point about Davis’ durability. Davis has already missed 21 of the Lakers’ 57 games this year, and we’re just coming up on the All-Star break. That is problematic for a player who will be 29 years old in a few weeks and is in the middle of his prime. Still, Davis’ upside is so great that I’d be willing to bet there would be at least 8-10 teams lined up with offers. If you get him on a title contender and he’s upright in the postseason, you’ve got a shot. We’ve seen it in Los Angeles, but since that bubble championship in 2020, which feels like a decade ago, there’s been much more time spent in street clothes for Davis than any team wants from a star player.
All jokes aside, Davis is still a tremendous NBA player. I think he’s fallen out of the top five among players this year and maybe even the top 10. He can still be a 25 ppg, 10 rpg type of player in the right situation. While trading Davis could bring in more assets which the Lakers lack, it would only serve as a bandaid to the overall wounds this franchise is currently suffering through.
The way this team was reconstructed last offseason is the biggest problem they’ve had all year. These Lakers are old. And not old like they’ve got a bunch of veteran players still close enough to their primes to make a huge difference. Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, and DeAndre Jordan are all past their primes. LeBron James is still an outstanding player, but he’s also much closer to the end than the middle.
These Lakers aren’t far off from a complete overhaul if they’re going to consider trading Davis. But shipping Davis off this summer won’t turn this ship around just like that. All those players named that are 32 and older should be out the door along with Davis. Westbrook would be the toughest to cut ties with due to his enormous contract, but it’s the NBA; they can figure out a way to get it done if they want to.
This LeBron-AD duo worked briefly, and the Lakers won their 17th championship. Since then, it’s been nothing short of disastrous for the Hollywood crew. Davis can’t stay healthy, and even when he’s played this year, he doesn’t seem like the same guy of a couple years ago. Los Angeles might really want to consider looking into moving AD before he enters his 30s and his game really begins to erode. A Davis trade won’t solve all the Lakers’ problems, but it might be the best way to start another reconstruction of this outdated roster.