Why Lakers Should Consider Making Anthony Davis Trade

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers were an underwhelming dumpster fire throughout the entirety of the 2021-2022 NBA season. Their “Big 3” consisting of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook failed to gel and stay on the court together.

The few times they were able to share the court, the product they put out was more reminiscent of three associates who work in the same building than an actual team.

A lot of people, myself included, saw this coming. The Lakers sacrificed their depth, defense, and floor spacing in the offseason to trade for Westbrook, another big-name star who figured to be a terrible fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. All three players are most comfortable operating in the paint on offense.

Both James and Westbrook work best with the ball in their hands, getting downhill to create for others. None of them are natural catch-and-shoot snipers. At this point in their careers, neither Westbrook nor James can be counted on for consistent defensive effort.

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But LeBron James and the Lakers brass didn’t take any of this into account when they ultimately decided to trade for Russell Westbrook, completely decimating their depth and depleting their defense in the process.

The season went about as expected, with the Los Angeles Lakers struggling to establish themselves as anything other than a Play-In team. Ultimately, their incompetence coupled with injury trouble torpedoed their season and cost LeBron another postseason appearance while still at the peak of his powers.

Another downside to the Russ trade was that it drained LA of nearly all of their tradeable assets. Without any mid-level salaries, young talent, or future first-round picks available, they’ll find it difficult to upgrade the roster through the trade wire. With nearly all of their salary cap committed to their Big 3, they won’t have many options in free agency either.

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At this point in his career, with a $47 million salary figure for next season, Russell Westbrook might just be an immovable contract. At the least, the Lakers would have to tack on additional assets to get off of his deal and would be highly unlikely to receive anything useful in return.

James is obviously not going anywhere until he demands it. That leaves Anthony Davis as the only meaningful trade chip that LA will have for next year.

It makes perfect sense. Davis will have the highest trade value, as he’s the youngest out of the Lakers’ Big 3 and probably has the longest remaining career. Trading Davis could land James and the Lakers either a whole rotations worth of high-quality role players or a cache of future assets, which can be used in further trades to improve the roster around Westbrook and James.

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If the Los Angeles Lakers are to compete next year, the final year of Russ’s contract, they’ll have to trade Anthony Davis to form anything resembling a complete roster. Unless they want to waste yet another year of LeBron James’ prime, they should see what’s available for the Brow.