Why should the Lakers sell so high on Anthony Davis when they had the chance?


No one likes the “I told you so” guy, but I told you so. Anthony Davis was always getting hurt. When he was playing out of his mind and Lakers They were deluding themselves into thinking that they had something as currently established they should have been out of the league for a high sell which was always a temporary opportunity for whatever amount of time Davis was able to keep his next inevitable hit at auction.


It turns out that less than two weeks later I wrote this.

Right now, at this very moment, Anthony Davis is the best basketball player in the world. We couldn’t, even for a long time, say it for a long time, and who knows how long we’ll be able to keep saying it this time. But that’s right now, and the Lakers have an organizational obligation not to miss this opportunity.

Either the cash in the draft picks you up and brings in some help, or Davis moves into his highest point in terms of value. For me, either would be a defensible decision, but I would be inclined to trade Davis. I don’t think he can stay healthy, plain and simple. Once he gets hurt again, his trade value will drop and the Lakers will be finished, if he isn’t already.

This time it is a right foot injury that is expected to keep Davis out of the field for at least a month, according to Shams Charania, the Athletic player, who also indicated that the Lakers are preparing for an indefinite absence from Davis. Chances are, based on his injury history and recovery, he’ll miss more than a month.

My colleague Sam Quinn says LeBron James has to now Keep the Lakers afloat so that Davis could return. Sam is a very sharp basketball mind and something of a Lakers expert, so I say this in my truest voice Mark Jackson “All of them will respect me”: Sorry, Sam. It doesn’t happen. Lakers are cooked.

Maybe they were cooked the whole time. When I wrote that the Lakers should have been selling big on Davis, I qualified that by saying that their only reasonable option if they wanted to have something to offer in this small Davis boom was to forgo coveted draft picks and bring in some reinforcements. Because this team, as it is currently built, and even with Davis playing at the MVP level, will never be good enough to truly compete. Getting to the playoffs was going to be an uphill climb.

As I wrote, trading reinforcements could have lightened some of Davis’ burden (it might have prevented this injury, though that’s impossible to say), or at least it could have helped LeBron more weather out of Davis’ injury. The inevitable – when did it happen.

To be fair, they could still make a trade Immediately To get some help from LeBron in keeping the ship afloat in preparation for Davis’ return, but the same question must be asked: When did Davis return from this foot problem, how long will he be able to stay on the field this time? mean fool me once do you know what i’m saying?

This really stinks. Davis was playing incredibly well and the Lakers were genuinely turning out to be a fine team. There was real energy developing. But this is not hindsight it is 20-20. It was very easy to expect this to happen. Davis walks around as if he has shards of glass in his shoes. He spends more time on the floor than anyone in the league, and no one gets up more than a grimace. The man presses his hand against his aching lower back with regularity as a lumber mill worker his whole life.

I’m not an insider. I have no idea if the Lakers actually communicated about trading Davis during his sky-high stretch. I doubt it. My guess is that something could have been reported. News like that is not kept secret these days. Besides, I don’t know what the Lakers could have gotten for Davis. I’m certainly not the only one who doubts his ability to stay healthy. Maybe his value wasn’t as high as I thought, even when he was the best player in the league for awhile.

But I bet that if the Lakers were motivated properly, a good, solid deal could have really put them back in the post-LeBron era. Then they could trade LeBron after the season when he becomes eligible. Top that with the 2027 and 2029 picks, and you’re in a very good place. You got your only title from Davis and LeBron and still managed to recover some value.

right Now? Davis is injured. As always. The hype of his healthy, short-lived dominance has once again been replaced by the reality of his fragility, he will turn 30 in March, and next season he will make $40 million, adding to the complexity of the market going forward. Chances are that Davis will never be as valuable as he was a month or even a few weeks ago.

As for the Lakers, who are already four games under . 500 heading into this stretch without Davis, well, they’re back to cooking. Yes, I know they beat Denver mostly without AD and wizards completely without it. They are still cooked. Even if LeBron is able to patch this thing together in some way until AD comes back, again, what are the chances he’ll stay healthy the rest of the season and throughout the playoffs if the Lakers are going to get that far? Read the handwriting on the wall.

Perhaps it has always been this way for the Lakers. This season has pretty much plagued us from the start. But there was a window there when Davis was playing so incredibly well that some teams could have been drunk enough at the idea of ​​adding him to their title chase to pay off so much of the Lakers’ debt.

But I said it when I wrote the article about two weeks ago: Rob Pelinka hasn’t done many smart things during his time with the Lakers, and he certainly hasn’t in the last few years, and in fact there was no reason to think he’d do a smart thing with Davis this time around when I had the chance. has the opportunity.

That said, the chances of Rob Pelinka having the guts to trade Davis while he plays this way, not to mention the Klutch factor, seems pretty close to zero.

So here we are. It stinks of Davis, LeBron, and the Lakers as a whole. But anyone saying they couldn’t see this coming simply wasn’t looking.


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