If the Los Angeles Lakers continue on their current course, it is clear that sooner or later they will have to make a trade.
According to an Eastern Conference executive who spoke to Heavy on sports Sean Deveneyone team trying to position themselves to beat a disgruntled superstar is the New York Knicks, with Anthony Davis among their preferred targets.
“The Knicks are still trying to hoard picks. That’s what they’re about. They approach things like there’s a star they can get — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony Davis, (Kevin) Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns, anyone — a star coming soon. You want picks.
If they could get two first rounds for Quickley they would, but that’s too high a price to pay. Maybe a young guy or a prospect playing in Europe, someone like that, and a first-rounder, a protected first-rounder, that’s probably the market for him,” the executive said.
Davis, 29, is having a catch-up season for the Lakers, averaging 25.6 points, 12 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 55.4% from the field. If the superstar forward continues to play at his current level, he will quickly overcome his injury vulnerability and become an interesting player for several teams in the league.
Deveney recently sat down with a Western Conference executive to discuss a number of issues. During the call, Davis’s name was discussed, with the executive noting how the dominant forward has re-established itself as a much-coveted Lakers commodity.
“Besides the pickaxes? Yes. But that also depends on the team. For a guy like Giannis or Luka, 29 teams would be willing to strike a deal. Davis, because of injuries, this group is smaller. Phoenix might be ready to play. The cops would do it because he’s a guy from Chicago. The Bucks have also tried to get Davis there before. Big-market teams that want a home run, like the Knicks or the Nets — they’d be in the mix, too. But its value has obviously taken a pretty big hit in recent years,” the manager said.
If Davis can stay healthy this season and prove his back problems are behind him, you can expect Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office to receive a spate of calls from teams across the league trying to gauge what it would take to tempt Los Angeles to undergo a remodel and ditch their star asset.
On Friday, November 18, Davis helped the Lakers to their third win of the season, dropping 38 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, four blocks and a steal on 62.5% shots from the field. In a post-game call with the media, head coach Darvin Ham gave a glimpse of how he envisions the Lakers offense and it heavily showcases Anthony Davis as the team’s lead offensive weapon.
“He’s been a huge force for us all year and tonight was no different… I think it’s extremely important (Davis remains aggressive), I mean just try to support Bron when he comes back, efficiently with its minutes and efficient with its wear and tear. AD has got to be the guiding force, the guiding force on how we want to play inside-out basketball, pressure on the rim, constant pressure on the paint. said Ham.
If Ham’s vision of Davis leading the Lakers is to become a reality, it’s unlikely the Knicks or any other interested team will grant their wish to acquire the superstar forward. However, if Davis struggles to maintain his current workload and injuries become a factor again, it wouldn’t be surprising if Los Angeles considered tearing things down to start over.