Anthony Davis has been very open about his desires to not play center full-time for the Los Angeles Lakers.
This is nothing new as Davis had the same feelings with the New Orleans Pelicans and it was something he brought up at his introductory press conference.
The Lakers had no issue with this and constructed the roster to help with that. In re-signing JaVale McGee and adding Davis’ former teammate DeMarcus Cousins, the Lakers looked to appease Davis by limiting his center minutes and also bringing in one of his best friends.
But with the unfortunate news of Cousins tearing his ACL, the team’s plans have changed. They could adjust by simply playing Davis more at center for the 2019-20 NBA season, but that sounds unlikely, according to Jared Greenberg of NBA TV:
In the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins news a high ranking member of the Lakers tells me that they do not expect nor do they want Anthony Davis to play “big minutes” at center this season @NBATV
— Jared Greenberg (@JaredSGreenberg) August 16, 2019
This should come as no surprise from the Lakers. They just traded nearly every young player they have plus multiple draft picks in order to acquire Davis who has just one year left on his deal. The expectation is that Davis will re-sign with the Lakers on a max deal, but the last thing they want to do is give him second thoughts and going against one of his biggest wishes is one way to do that.
The Lakers have already begun working on finding another big man, reportedly gaining permission to speak with Dwight Howard, who is currently on the Memphis Grizzlies. There are other big men available in the free agent market such as Joakim Noah, Kenneth Faried, and Salah Mejri whom the Lakers could target if they choose as well.
This doesn’t mean Davis will never play any minutes at center. There will certainly be times where he lines up at center, especially in closing lineups as it would be the best way for Davis, LeBron James, and Kyle Kuzma to share the floor.
But Davis wants his minutes there limited and the Lakers, by all accounts, will make sure that happens this season.