Anthony Davis had a successful first year with the Los Angeles Lakers as he helped lead the team to their 17th championship in franchise history.
Davis then became a free agent, but was almost guaranteed to re-sign with the Lakers. That wound up coming to fruition, though in somewhat surprising fashion as Davis committed to the team on a five-year contract.
There had been assumptions he would re-sign on a shorter deal to then test free agency after reaching 10 years of service time and thus capitalize financially. Davis’ re-signing came after the Lakers agreed to a two-year contract extension with LeBron James.
All has gone remarkably well since they were paired together, but the same could hardly be said for James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets. Both players were recently reported as seeking a trade, and Westbrook wound up being moved in a deal with the Washington Wizards.
During an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Davis explained how he related to Harden and Westbrook’s situation:
“I think those guys want to win. I was in that situation last year, where I wanted to win. I was able to get the job done the following year. When you’ve got two guys like J.H. and Russ, two guys that have made a ton of money, guys who know are looking to win. Not saying they didn’t want to win before, but Russ has been there one year, James has been there six years, seven years, something like that. Didn’t win, so now he’s looking.
“If it’s true. I’m not sure. I haven’t talked to any of them and don’t know. But if it’s true, they’re both looking to move forward and try to compete for a championship. At the end of the day you come into the league to make a ton of money, but you want to win. You want to be a champion, you want to have that feeling. Those guys are probably in that stage right now where they want to compete for a championship.”
Davis is one of the few stars who can identify to Harden’s and Westbrook’s situation as he was unable to get over the hump with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Harden is rumored to be eyeing a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, while the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Westbrook prior to the Wizards trade.
Shakeup in Western Conference
If the Rockets wind up trading Harden as well, that likely removes one playoff team from the picture. The recent injury to Klay Thompson also puts a dent in the Golden State Warriors’ hopes to contend this season.
The L.A. Clippers and Denver Nuggets appear to be the frontrunners to dethrone the Lakers, but the defending champions certainly feel confident about their chances with a retooled roster.
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