As the Los Angeles Lakers close out a disappointing, confusing season with the most ungraceful of landings, rumors are starting to circulate about who will be rejoining the Purple and Gold come next year.
Given how this season went, it’s no secret that there will be personnel changes around LeBron James in hopes of getting back in contention while he’s still playing at such a high level.
While some people have suggested trading Anthony Davis give his constant health issues, it does not look like that will be happening
The eight-time All-Star Lakers big man is among the few players we can count on seeing return, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report is reporting:
While some rival executives around the league have wondered about the Lakers’ willingness to discuss trading All-Star forward Anthony Davis this offseason, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation refuted that option will seriously be on the table for Los Angeles brass. Despite Davis’ battle with injury the past two seasons, Lakers figures still harbor faith that a healthy pairing of Davis and LeBron James can once more boast a championship-contending ceiling as it did in 2020.
While it seems like it was lifetimes ago when we watched Davis and James hoist the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy in the bubble, it somehow only took the Lakers’ front office two years to completely dismantle their identity as a team. By letting Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma go, they lost defensive power and two players who provided high energy and efficiency when the team needed it.
Valuable guards like Rajon Rondo and Caruso contributed all around on the floor, and the Lakers replaced their young talent, who they built into valuable two-way players, with a mostly aging roster with a new, inexperienced core.
Although Davis missed half of the games this season, the blame seems to be falling directly onto head coach Frank Vogel’s shoulders as he is not expected to return.
Davis has missed 39 games this season due to a foot injury suffered in February and a knee injury, which occured in December. He also missed half the 2020-21 season due to a calf/Achilles injury. Not to mention the number of games that James also missed throughout the past two seasons (49 but who’s counting?), the powers that be are still sold on what the two can do when both are fully healthy.
Davis says Lakers haven’t reached their ‘potential’
While accusations of poor trading and signing decisions are continuing to surface, Davis maintains his position that the Lakers’ primary problems are due to injuries.
“What could we have been if I was healthy all year, Bron was healthy, K. Nunn was healthy. You think about those things,” Davis said. “We put this team together and it looked really good on paper, but we haven’t had a chance to reach our potential with guys being in and out of the lineup.”
Kendrick Nunn is perhaps the largest question mark on the Lakers’ 2021-22 season, as the guard got injured before the regular season began. We never got to see how he fit in alongside James and Davis, but his off-ball abilities and defensive skill set were both things the Lakers were lacking this season.
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