The injury to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis is an absolutely crushing blow as the big man was playing arguably his best stretch of basketball since coming to the team. With Davis dominating and LeBron James continuing to produce at a high level, the Lakers’ front office reportedly believed that the team was closer to contention than it seemed at the beginning of the season.
But with Davis out for at least a month and possibly longer, the question now becomes whether the goals of the Lakers front office remains the same. They are reportedly focused on smaller deals rather than a huge, blockbuster trade. And with future first-round picks likely to be involved, the Lakers must be really smart about any potential deals.
If Davis is going to be out for a while, the Lakers might just choose to not deal away those picks as any chance of a deep playoff run is gone without their star big man. And when James was asked his thoughts on that possibility, he made it clear that’s something he is not focused on.
“Not a question for me,” LeBron said when asked following the Lakers’ win over the Washington Wizards. “I have no idea. I’m playing, I show up. Prepare, work, go to work. Get my guys ready to go win a basketball game. I play the game, I’m not in the front office. We’ll see, but I’m focused on the game, and that’s trying to win basketball games, especially when I’m out on the floor.”
Furthermore, LeBron would also implore the assembled media to ask that same question about whether the Lakers would be more reluctant to deal those picks away due to Davis’ injury to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, via Mark Media of NBA.com:
Afterwards, LeBron implored the media to ask Rob Pelinka the same question. https://t.co/orF7cP67O7
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 19, 2022
The front office, and Pelinka in particular, have been under a lot of pressure to make some deals in order to improve this Lakers roster. The goal is always to win a championship, but that goal is simply not attainable with Davis not on the court.
Whether that brings about a change in mindset from Pelinka and the front office remains to be seen, but the pressure is on. And whether intentional or unintentional, James is adding to it by making sure things are directed towards the front office and not himself.
LeBron says Lakers will try to ‘hold down the fort’ until Anthony Davis is healthy
And in focusing on the product on the court, LeBron and the Lakers will have a tough task moving forward without the team’s best player. And while James hates having to see Davis go deal with these injuries again, he and the Lakers will do everything they can to stay afloat until he’s back.
“I mean, it’s definitely disappointing to see him have to go through it, especially with the work that he’s put into it,” LeBron said. “Doesn’t cheat the game. Shows up, prepares himself, goes out, and obviously, he’s been dominant this year, and to have him to have this setback right now. I know it can be tough on him, for sure. Just trying to do whatever I can do to keep his mind fresh.
“It’s just a minor setback for a major comeback, and we’ll try to hold down the fort for as long as we can until we get our No. 1 guy back, so you know you just have a clear mind and take his time, understand that this is temporary.”
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