The injury to Los Angeles Lakers superstar big man Anthony Davis is an absolute gut shot to the team on the court. The Lakers were built around Davis and the big man was enjoying an outstanding stretch of play, but now the team must figure out how to thrive without him for the foreseeable future.
But it’s not just on the court that Davis’ injury changes things as now the Lakers front office must reassess things as the Lakers’ ceiling changes dramatically without their best player. All options seemed to be on the table for the Lakers ahead of the trade deadline though the team was seemingly leaning towards a smaller deal rather than a blockbuster move involving the Russell Westbrook contract.
And Davis’ injury apparently makes that even more likely as according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, unless a star player who can grow with Davis becomes available, a smaller deal involving just one of the Lakers’ future draft picks is the likely move:
Davis’ injury has increased the probability that the only move the Lakers make is a smaller trade featuring, at most, one first-round pick, sources with knowledge of the Lakers’ plans told The Athletic. The one exception is if a star that can grow alongside Davis over the next few years becomes available.
But the most likely trade outcome, at this point, is some form of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and either the 2027 or 2029 first-round pick (likely protected) for a 3-and-D wing or combo forward that fits well next Davis and James, those sources said.
This thinking does make more sense for the Lakers in both the short and long term. There is no trade the Lakers could make that could make them championship contenders this season without Davis so it isn’t worth mortgaging the draft picks at the end of the decade in a move that won’t get them to their ultimate goal. Of course, if a game-changing player were to come available, that changes everything, but the Lakers must focus on raising the overall talent of the roster.
It is worth noting that the team is targeting a 3-and-D wing or combo forward as that is the biggest piece the team is missing. Getting a player who can fill that role, provide spacing, and guard other top wings will greatly help the Lakers both immediately, and once Davis is healthy. It is simply a matter of finding that right player and getting a deal done.
Lakers seeking second and third opinions to determine severity of Anthony Davis’ injury
While Davis will reportedly be out at least a month, the Lakers have yet to announce exactly what the injury is and no timeline for his return has been set. Apparently, this is because the Lakers are still looking for other opinions.
The latest reports suggest that the Lakers are seeking second and third opinions on Davis’ foot to determine the exact severity of his injury and figure out the best course of action to ensure his health and, hopefully, get him back on the court as soon as possible.
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