The Los Angeles Lakers‘ disappointing tumble has shifted the dialogue toward an expected busy summer ahead. The franchise appears to remain committed to building a championship contender around LeBron James in hopes he extends his tenure beyond his current contract.
However, doubt is beginning to pile up concerning Anthony Davis‘ long-term future as he pushes through another injury-plagued campaign. If the Lakers move toward considering trading the star big man, the Boston Celtics are already out of the picture as a potential landing spot.
Lakers are falling disappointingly short of NBA title expectations
After an extremely busy offseason, the Lakers have performed like anything but a legitimate NBA title contender.
The franchise brought together several big-name talents in hopes it would thrust the franchise toward another championship. Instead, injuries and overall lackluster team performance have Los Angeles destined to fall into the play-in tournament or miss the playoffs entirely.
All that may push the franchise to consider all options to improve the roster, including trading Anthony Davis. If the front office heads that route, one prominent team is already off the list.
Lakers won’t consider trading Anthony Davis to the Celtics
Among the possible routes the Lakers could head this upcoming offseason is exploring the trade market for Anthony Davis.
Over the last two seasons, the star big man has struggled to stay healthy, significantly contributing to Los Angeles performing well below NBA title contention. He’s in the second year of his five-year, $189.9 million that runs through the 2024-25 campaign.
If the Lakers venture into trade scenarios for Davis, several teams could emerge as serious suitors for the eight-time All-Star. However, the Boston Celtics wouldn’t be one of them as the star forward reportedly doesn’t have a desire to play for the franchise.
“They (the Lakers) made such an effort to bring AD to that team. And if they are going to deal him, they would only send him where he wants to be. And I just don’t think Boston would ever be a team on his list,” the executive told Heavy.com.
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given that Davis’ father previously shot down the notion that his son wanted to join the Boston Celtics because of how they handled Isaiah Thomas’ situation. That stance sits rooted in how the organization treated Thomas through his knee injury, which wound up changing the course of his career.
On top of that, the Lakers would likely demand a trade package center around Jayson Tatum, who Boston wouldn’t give up in any deal. The same could be said about Jaylen Brown, as the two stars are the foundation of the franchise’s future.
Lakers will build the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis
The Lakers have yet to reach the point of seriously considering moving off the star big man.
When healthy, Davis is one of the league’s top players, but he’s missed massive chunks of the last two seasons. If the franchise continues to build a team around LeBron James, moving the 28-year-old will be an option.
Davis could fetch the Lakers a lucrative trade package that features first-round draft picks and young talent. The question remains whether James would sway toward that route, given that he played a pivotal part in bringing him to Los Angeles.
If anything, the franchise will stay committed to building the roster around their star forwards. General manager Rob Pelinka’s top priority will be to find a way to trade Russell Westbrook, who will likely pick up his $47.0 million player option for the 2022-23 campaign.
Westbrook’s performance has significantly dropped his value around the league. That alone will force the Lakers to sweeten their trade package with future first-round picks. Nonetheless, expect the franchise to keep their star frontcourt duo together for another go-around.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.