Anthony Davis’ Injury Must Force the Lakers to Consider a Trade

The Los Angeles Lakers are stuck facing another disappointing situation with Anthony Davis out again due to a serious injury. Davis will miss at least the next few weeks due to a sprained ankle, further cementing another injury-plagued campaign.

He has played a significant part in the franchise’s recent success, highlighted by winning the 2020 NBA title. However, he has shown no ability to move past his health issues. The Lakers have long avoid the converastion, but it might be time for them to seriously consider trading Davis.

Anthony Davis sidelined again with another significant injury

LeBron James guided the Lakers to grab a much-needed comeback win over the Utah Jazz heading into the All-Star break, but it came with a cost.

Davis suffered a disappointing leg injury in the second quarter after his right foot landed on Rudy Gobert’s leg, causing him to lose his balance and sprain his ankle. The star forward immediately went down in massive pain and needed help back to the locker room without the ability to place any weight on his right foot.

The immediate x-rays came back negative, while he will undergo an MRI on Thursday to clarify the extent of the injury. Davis left Crypto.com Arena at halftime, requiring crutches to move around. Early reports from ESPN‘s Dave McMenamin expect him to miss at least two weeks.

Regardless of the severity of the injury, the Lakers are fortunate to be heading into the All-Star break with a nine-day layoff. After Wednesday’s game, LeBron James voiced optimism that Davis will be back on the floor soon.

“The good thing is, he’ll be a lot better when we come back than he is tonight,” James said via ESPN. “No matter where he is, he’ll be better a week from today….So time heals all, and like I said, it’s an unfortunate play, an unfortunate event, and he’ll get back as soon as he can. But nothing to rush.”

As Davis starts the recovery process from yet another injury, it may push the Lakers to face a stark reality.

Anthony Davis’ failure to stay healthy must force the Lakers to consider a trade

The Lakers are dealing with an all-too-familiar dilemma with Anthony Davis.

Although the team is waiting on the MRI results, Los Angeles may finally need to consider moving him. He is working through a second straight campaign featuring missing considerable playing time.

Before the ankle injury, a sprained MCL in his left knee forced him to miss 17 consecutive games. Last season, he missed three months due to a calf ailment related to his Achilles, limiting him to 36 regular-season appearances. He returned two weeks before the playoffs, but he suffered a groin injury that crushed the Lakers’ championship hopes.

In Davis’ first two-plus campaigns with Los Angeles, he’s missed 83 out of a possible 201 regular-season contests. The organization shouldn’t be surprised as he’s stayed injury-prone throughout his career. Before joining the Lakers, he missed 108 regular-season games over seven seasons while only topping 70 appearances twice.

When healthy, Davis is among the league’s best talents as an elite two-way player, but it’s his inability to stay healthy is concerning. Los Angeles is extremely dependent on his presence, which significantly amplifies the frustration with his persistent injury issues.

The Lakers have no reason to trust that Davis can make it through an entire season. That alone should push them to at least consider trading the eight-time All-Star next offseason. The 28-year-old is in the prime of his career and will be in the third year of his five-year, $189.9 million that possesses a $43.2 million player option for the 2024-25 campaign.

Davis will draw significant trade interest that should fetch the Lakers a lucrative package featuring young and All-Star-level talent in return. As much as the franchise holds strong faith in the star big man’s talent and impact, he simply can’t shake his injury struggles.

Lakers must maximize LeBron James’ remaining time

As much as the Lakers remain committed to Davis, the franchise operates on a win-now window due to LeBron James.

The 18-time All-Star is still playing at an elite level while his contract runs through only next season, leaving the door open for his plans ahead of his 21st campaign.

James previously stated that he wants to play the rest of his career with Los Angeles, but he’s repeatedly indicated that he wants to play with his son Bronny James. That alone could push him to sign elsewhere. All that leaves the Lakers in a bind, but if the franchise contends for another NBA title, it gives the star forward every reason to extend his stay.

Los Angeles is operating on James’ time, which should force them to explore the trade market for Davis next offseason.

Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.

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