While there are a couple of notable exceptions, most athletes don’t stay in one city for their entire careers. Michael Jordan, for example, had an infamous spell with the Washington Wizards. More modernly, LeBron James bounced from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat before returning to Cleveland and then heading to Hollywood. One of James’ current teammates, Anthony Davis, could be preparing for another move of his own.
While Davis only joined the Los Angeles Lakers during the summer, he’s poised to hit free agency at the end of the current season. But is the forward already preparing to move away from California?
Anthony Davis’ road to the Lakers
After making a splash as a high school senior, Anthony Davis headed to the University of Kentucky. He averaged 14.2 points and 10.4 rebounds during his freshman campaign with the Wildcats; after that one season, he followed in the footsteps of so many John Calipari players and declared for the NBA draft.
The New Orleans Hornets took Davis with the first overall pick, and he immediately repaid their faith; despite battling through some nagging injuries, the young center averaged 13.5 points per game and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. After that season, the Hornets rebranded as the Pelicans and Davis’ took his play to the next level.
Each season, Davis seemed to become more and more dominant on both ends of the floor. Despite playing through shoulder issues, the center made the Pelicans relevant; during the 2017-18 campaign, he averaged over 28 points a night, carrying his club to the second round of the playoffs. Davis wasn’t satisfied with that, however; in January 2019, he requested a trade to a championship contender. After the season ended, he was dealt to the Lakers.
A history of dropping hints
Earlier in the season, Anthony Davis made news by seeming to hint at a return to his hometown of Chicago. Davis said that he would “consider anything,” including signing with the Bulls, but the comment wasn’t taken too seriously; the forward was answering questions from local children, so he couldn’t exactly say that he would never sign with their local team.
Davis, however, appeared to be telling the truth. While he insists that he’s focused on the current season, he won’t rule out anything going forward.
“I still look at it as we’ll see what happens at the end of the season,” he explained on ESPN’s First Take. “Obviously, the season is going great so far and I’m trying to stay in the moment and worry about that when the season is over. I feel like we can do something special this year with the team that we put together and the coaching staff that we have, I don’t think anyone can beat us but the Los Angeles Lakers.”
“So when that time comes, I’ll think about it and see what’s going on,” he continued. “But right now, I’m just trying to focus on this year and winning a championship with the Lakers.”
Would Anthony Davis really leave the Lakers?
While it’s possible that Anthony Davis and LeBron James could fall out by the end of the season, everything’s looking rosy in Los Angeles. The Lakers are playing at an elite level and have a good shot at the NBA title; on a personal level, Davis is scoring at will and seems to be meshing with his teammates. Dual-threat teams dominate the modern NBA; it’s hard to have a better duo than James and Davis.
It’s also worth noting that Davis probably won’t be tempted by the opportunity to be “the guy” on a lesser team. He already had the chance to be the face of the franchise in New Orleans, he left town to win rather than owning a small pond.
When the offseason arrives, Anthony Davis will be a hot commodity for any NBA team, including the Lakers. If things continue to go well in Los Angeles, the forward could simply re-up on a much more lucrative contract; if the forward really wants to win a championship, it’ll be hard for him to find a better situation.