Charles Barkley Doesn’t Believe Lakers Are Going Anywhere If Anthony Davis Isn’t Playing At MVP Level
Charles Barkley
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Los Angeles Lakers fans are antsy for the new season to start due to the renewed hope in the team with the moves made this offseason. The expectation is to build upon the Western Conference Finals appearance and get over the hump to cash in on one more championship in the LeBron James era.

However, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had to lock in a foundational piece for the future of the franchise, and that was Anthony Davis. When Davis initially was traded to L.A., James was supposed to ‘pass the torch’ to his co-star and have him take charge. There have been mixed reactions on whether the Chicago native has done that in his time as a Laker, but regardless, that is ultimately the key to success for the team.

TNT analyst and NBA legend Charles Barkley seems to share that same sentiment, believing Davis has to be playing at an MVP level for L.A. to have any chance this upcoming season, via The Bill Simmons Podcast:

“Sometimes, when sports and the games are close, you are like, man, we are close, but the Lakers aren’t. Now, it will be interesting about all the stuff they did; as I said last season, it will all come down to Anthony Davis. If Anthony Davis, as much as I love LeBron, I said last season and two seasons before. The Lakers are not going anywhere if Anthony Davis is not an MVP candidate. The Lakers were lucky to have a great draw in the playoffs, but AD does not have a MVP caliber season; the Lakers are going nowhere.”

Another legend Kevin Garnett believes that Davis will win an MVP award this season or next year, so there has been some additional pressure this summer for the 6’10” center to be able to take that next step.

Injuries have been a given throughout his career, so the hope is to keep Davis on the floor as much as possible but manage his workload as well. Still only 30 years old, there is still plenty of high-level basketball left in Davis’ career with the expectation that he’ll be handed the keys to the franchise whenever James’ departure is after signing an extension this summer.

This past postseason, Davis showed his Defensive Player of the Year capabilities with his elite-level rim protection, and now there have been some new expectations placed on him to take it up a notch to etch himself in the MVP conversation.

Antetokounmpo could have interest in Lakers if he leaves Bucks

As far as the post-James era goes, the Lakers will likely look to bring in another star-caliber player to play alongside Davis.

That star could be Giannis Antetokounmpo as recent reports indicate that he could have interest in the Lakers if he chooses to leave the Milwaukee Bucks.

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