Should the Lakers Trade Anthony Davis for Zach Lavine After Another Rollercoaster Start to the Season?
There were suspicions about the new-looking Los Angeles Lakers before the season started. The new entrances strengthened their previous flaws. The storied franchise has found the prolific defensive identity that propelled them to a championship in 2020. However, their start has been shaky, with the stability varying from their core star – Anthony Davis.
The Lakers welcomed the Brow in 2019-20 with the intention to capitalize on their window with LeBron James. His impact was immediate. The Lakers won a title in his first season, breaking a 10-year dry spell. Since then, the dominant forward has struggled to stay healthy. Barring his misfortune with injuries, Davis’ performances are erratic. At times he seems unflappable by any defense, like basketball is his forte. Other times he seems disengaged from the intensity that pushes him to be AD.
This has been the story for the past few seasons and in 13 games so far. The concept of him carrying the Lakers crest after LeBron James is growing unpopular. Maybe it is time for them to move on from those visions.
LeBron James has given the keys over to Anthony Davis
King James is 38. Even though he is considered an aging star, somehow he blasts through father time. James has retained his fiery burst. He might be a step slower, but it’s still enough to rank him among the top echelon of superstars in the league. Despite such status, the four-time MVP has relinquished his throne for his counterpart. Before the season began LeBron James officially declared the Lakers isn’t his team anymore.
“He is the face of the franchise,” claimed James during media day.
He further added pressure by comparing Davis to fellow NBA greats who graced the Lakers uniform before him. The 38-year-old starlet believes one day the Brow’s jersey will hang in the rafters. Additionally, he also felt Davis’ skillset ranks him amongst the greatest Laker bigs, a bold claim considering the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pau Gasol, and more shoes he has to fill.
Till this point, Davis has faced hardships to take the mantle away from James as the face. He has had a rocky journey so far and the Laker Nation is growing frustrated. Can the Lake Show sustain these ups and downs Davis is susceptible to?
Anthony Davis needs to stay consistent
The very first game of the season was the perfect example of the pros and cons of Anthony Davis. The Lakers had circled the date for this contest against the Denver Nuggets. It was the intensity of revenge that had all eyes on this game. Davis began like he would have a huge night, scoring 17 in the first half. He had the rage in his eyes and a burning tendency to attack. However, that fire became dull to the point Davis went scoreless in the second half, and the Purple and Gold failed to exact revenge.
Such has been the pattern over the season. He had a fantastic five-game stretch following the Nuggets embarrassment. He asserted himself scoring over 25 in each contest. After that, he has fallen off the wagon going past the benchmark just once. Even his shot attempts keep reducing when he suddenly has a game scoring only 9 points. Going from an anchor to an inconsequential piece doesn’t make sense, but that is how AD has been so far.
If he can play at a high level consistently, Davis will certainly ring MVP bells without question. That was how many NBA legends saw him. Charles Barkley even said he will be the best player in the NBA one day, so far there are only days he proves to have that potential, but has failed to keep it up for the entire season.
A trade opportunity arises for the Lakers
Los Angeles has become a preferred destination for All-Star guard Zach Lavine. The culmination of three All-Stars hasn’t helped the Chicago Bulls grow into a competing franchise. The young athletic scorer wants to grace a winning franchise after testing his luck with the Bulls. Playing college ball at UCLA, the high flyer has a connection with the city of LA. Moreover, he shares agents with James and Davis. While giving up an All-Star, the Bulls will covet a suitable return, preferably a star of similar magnitude. The obvious options lean toward Anthony Davis. Picks and role players might do the job, but the Lakers lack the draft capital to make that circumstance possible.
So should they trade AD with rumors and opportunities all lining up? So far Lavine has played in a disorganised offensive system of the Bulls. There is no definitive centerpiece at the franchise with DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic both equally formidable scorers. He has averaged 22.6 points per game including a vainful 51-point performance against the Detroit Pistons. The obvious attractive ability is his three-point scoring. Lavine is a rare blend of athleticism and shooting all clubbed into a 6’5” guard.
Now the question is, should the Lakers trade Anthony Davis for Lavine? Despite how dull AD has been, the 30-year-old holds much larger value. He isn’t just a scoring titan. On the back end, he is an elite rim protector who single-handedly carries the Laker defense. Now with the likes of Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, and resigning Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura has provided the franchise with great shooting pillars. Currently, the Lakers rank 20th in three-point percentage and 17th in points, both better than the Bulls. So even with AD falling down a slope offensively, the Lakers are still better than what they would be with another scorer on their side.
If they can add Lavine alongside their existing tandem, that should be a deal the franchise makes with their eyes closed.