The Los Angeles Lakers are moving through another all-too-familiar situation with Anthony Davis sidelined for a significant stretch. Davis has fallen into what’s becoming an unavoidable fate in his NBA career of dealing with injuries.
LeBron James and the Lakers hold the tough challenge of pushing ahead for the next several weeks without the star big man. As Los Angeles titters nearly out of playoff contention, the franchise must brace for the possibility that Davis could miss the rest of the season.
Anthony Davis’ injury is another devastating blow
The 2021-22 season has been anything but prosperous for the Lakers.
Los Angeles received another gut punch to their NBA title hopes after Davis suffered a right mid-foot sprain. The eight-time All-Star dodged any fractures or breaks, but the severity of the injury will keep him out for an extended stretch. ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski recently clarified the timetable, stating that Davis will sit out another four or five weeks.
His absence puts the Lakers in a more challenging spot to vie for the playoffs, currently sitting in the ninth position in the Western Conference standings. The franchise may also need to face a more grim reality regarding their star big man.
Lakers need to prepare for worst case scenario with Anthony Davis
The Lakers’ bleak immediate future ahead is primarily tied to Anthony Davis’ health as he will miss another extended stretch.
The star big man’s earliest projected return would be for the final few contests of the regular season. However, it’s possible he may miss all the remaining games before the playoffs. The second scenario is likely as he’s recovering from a sensitive injury and can experience a setback if it’s not appropriately handled.
The Lakers want to avoid losing Davis for the rest of the season altogether, but that situation is conceivable. Much of which may also depend on where Los Angeles sits record-wise. They are only 3 1/2 games ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans and the Portland Trail Blazers to remain in the play-in tournament.
All those factors present a plausible scenario where Davis could miss the rest of the regular season. If the Lakers aren’t in playoff contention, there wouldn’t be any motive to have him play aside from getting a few games under his belt before the offseason.
Ultimately, the team’s performance without the star big man over the next few weeks may determine whether Davis returns in the 2021-22 campaign.
The Lakers need to consider moving the star big man
Davis’ situation speaks more deeply to the Lakers beyond him missing another extended stretch.
Since helping guide the Lakers to secure the 2020 NBA title, the 28-year-old has struggled to stay on the court. He missed 36 games last season due to leg problems, including three straight months because of a calf issue related to his Achilles tendon.
Davis decided to hire a new trainer last summer in hopes of avoiding nagging injuries, but he’s missed significant time again. He sat out 17 straight games due to a sprained MCL in his left knee and could potentially miss the rest of the 2021-22 campaign.
The injury shortcomings point to more significant concern, especially with the Lakers trying to maximize LeBron James’ remaining window. Davis is repeatedly showing the franchise that he can’t be relied upon as the secondary star alongside James.
His talent is unquestionable when healthy, but the caveat regarding his availability is always becoming an issue. The Lakers may not dive headfirst into exploring trade options for Davis, but it may be something the team will have to consider next offseason.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.