The LA Lakers suffered a notable blow with star forward Anthony Davis dealing with a strained calf. The injury will keep Davis out of the lineup over the next few weeks. The situation will also have a more substantial impact on guiding the Lakers toward another pathway.
Anthony Davis expected to miss some time
Throughout much of the 2020-21 season, there has been an underlying current around Anthony Davis‘ health.
Davis hasn’t shown the same physical burst with his play that has notably impacted his production. The situation began to take a concerning turn last week as Davis missed a pair of games due to a lingering Achilles injury.
The 27-year-old recently returned to the floor but suffered a significant step back after straining his Achilles tendon on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, an MRI on Monday clarified that Davis suffered a calf strain and will be re-evaluated in two to three weeks.
The Lakers are taking the precautionary approach with the situation given the sensitivity with the ailment. The expectation is that Davis will return at some point after the All-Star break in early to mid-March.
In other words, LA will provide Davis as much time as he needs to fully recover from the nagging injury. His absence from the lineup will have a notable impact on the team’s performance and will also force them into another pathway in the coming weeks.
Anthony Davis’ injury may force the Lakers to change their course of action
The Lakers are nearly 30 games into this season, which presents plenty of time to work things out ahead of the playoffs.
However, Anthony Davis’ injury does shift their situation a bit in the quest for a second straight NBA title. During an interview on ESPN‘s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show, Adrian Wojnarowski stated that Davis’ injury may not alter the Lakers’ plans for the trade deadline but will increase their focus on the buyout market
“If you’re the Lakers I think you nose around the good role players that might be available in the marketplace,” Wojnarowski said. “There’s no replacing Anthony Davis, and if he’s got to sit out a week, two weeks, or whatever it is I don’t think it changes how they approach the deadline.
“I think if you’re the Lakers then you certainly wait to see how the buyout market looks like…That’s a way the Lakers don’t have to give up any assets in a trade.”
Every season, the trade deadline leads to a handful of players getting bought out of their deals or waived after being part of a trade. Over the last couple of years, the Lakers have been active in adding veteran talent through that avenue.
Last season, LA signed Markieff Morris after the Detroit Pistons bought him out. A few notable names could go that route this year, such as Andre Drummond, who is expected to part ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LA still holds an open roster spot that they elected not to fill last offseason. Ultimately, the next few weeks will be quite telling of the team’s confidence in their current roster.
Lakers are eyeing the bigger picture
The immediate reaction to Anthony Davis’ injury spews much concern around his long-term health.
The Lakers are taking the precautionary approach with the matter, given the Achilles tendon’s sensitivity coupled with Davis’ injury history. LA wants to compete for an NBA title this season, but they want to avoid any more significant injury issues.
Davis is in the first year of his five-year, $190 million deal, which the Lakers hope he can continue to be the driving force to their success over that span. LA may have LeBron James under contract for a few more years, but the seven-time All-Star is the long-term future.
That alone should further emphasize the need for the Lakers to move forward with much precaution. How the franchise handles the situation will have a tremendous impact on their future well beyond this season.