The Los Angeles Lakers are currently trying to make a run late in the season with a new roster to make the playoffs. Despite that objective, the NBA rumors swirling around the team have not stopped.
Instead, they have arguably intensified as the team is being closely watched under a magnifying glass. Most notably, Anthony Davis is being watched by fans and pundits alike as LeBron James nurses a foot injury to potentially return for a run in the playoffs.
It has not been great for Davis recently. He cannot play the second leg of back-to-backs, which led to an ugly loss to the Houston Rockets. Then, in a massive game against the Dallas Mavericks, AD crumbled in crunch time as the win slipped right through the team’s fingers.
This could potentially have huge implications moving forward — that is, if Kevin Garnett’s theory proves to be true. The NBA Hall of Famer (who AD has been loosely compared to in the past) thinks that LA’s brass is looking at this current run without LeBron as a tester for AD’s future (h/t All The Smoke Podcast)
"“I think in these next two weeks, this is featured Anthony Davis to see what he can do in two weeks to maneuver the Lakers […] If he doesn’t make a pivotal shift, if this don’t make a pivotal move, or it don’t really move anything? Lord, I think they’re gonna come off the Anthony Davis project and move him this summer.”"
NBA Rumors: Could Lakers actually trade Anthony Davis if things don’t improve?
There are two answers to this question, as contradicting as that sounds. Could the Los Angeles Lakers trade Anthony Davis? Absolutely, there are a few potential reasons to do so. Would the Lakers ever actually do it? Probably not, even if things go poorly down the stretch.
In theory, Los Angeles trading Davis in the offseason would not be the worst thing in the world. There is a pretty good chance that next season is LeBron’s last in LA considering he will want to play with his son, Bronny James.
Davis is essentially entering a contract year next year as well as he has an early termination option the following summer. AD will 100% get out of his contract to get another max pay day and if LeBron leaves then Davis could end up leaving as well.
Realistically, it might be better in the long run if the Lakers get ahead of the problem and move on from AD this summer to get max value for him. However, the team is never going to do that, as the front office would likely want one more shot at a title, even if they had their reservations about Davis.
That is why the team would never actually do it. Plus, Davis is a Klutch client and it is obvious that Klutch has a pretty big impact on the decisions that are made in LA. Unless AD and LeBron really aren’t close like rumors suggest, the team is not going to be able to move Davis because of LeBron.
Perhaps LA is using this time to evaluate the long-term future and whether the team wants to bring Davis back after his current contract. But they likely are not evaluating whether or not they want to trade him in the summer.
That being said, it is the NBA we are talking about and crazier things have happened.