The LA Lakers have managed to work through the last month without star Anthony Davis by maintaining one of the league’s best records. LA has kept its focus on returning to full strength before the playoffs to make another NBA title push. Following suffering a disappointing right ankle injury, LeBron James has delivered a strong message to the Lakers.
Lakers continue to navigate through 2020-21 season
After the shortest offseason in league history, the Lakers headed into this season, holding the singular focus of capturing a second straight NBA title.
LA has predictably run into their fair share of struggles and adjustment period with their retooled roster. The team has operated the last few weeks without star big man Anthony Davis but managed to remain with one of the Western Conference’s top records.
As the Lakers move through the second half of the year, the task has become even more difficult after suffering another tough blow after LeBron James’ ankle injury.
LeBron James delivers powerful message to the Lakers after his ankle injury
The Lakers have moved through the last several weeks without star forward Anthony Davis due to their precaution around his Achilles injury.
LA was dealt another harsh blow with their other star LeBron James suffered a high right ankle sprain. The injury occurred early in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.
As James attempted to recover the loose ball, Solomon Hill’s body weight on the 17-time All-Star’s ankle bent it awkwardly. The 36-year-old managed to stay in the game, knocking down a 3-pointer but exited after a timeout on the next offensive possession.
“Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates!” James said. “I’m hurt inside and out right now. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.”
The Lakers will likely be without James for the next few weeks as he recovers from the injury. His absence will put significant offensive pressure on Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder to lead the charge as the team’s primary offensive playmakers.
LA will give James all the time he needs to fully recover from the ailment, as there remain around two months left in the regular season.
Will the injury push LA into a move?
The timing of LeBron James’ injury puts the Lakers in an interesting spot ahead of the March 25 trade deadline.
Before James became sidelined definitely, there hadn’t been much noise around trade rumors. Although it would be more than reasonable for LA to make a move, their game plan will likely not change.
The Lakers will keep their eyes fixated on the buyout market with the desire to address their frontcourt. Over the last several days, Andre Drummond has continued to be linked to the team as a strong option if the Cleveland Cavaliers buy him out.
LA’s roster lacks significant size on the roster despite recent addition big man Damian Jones, who the team chose to not renew his contract. Former star center Marc Gasol has struggled to provide steady play this season in his limited role. Outside of that, Anthony Davis was the only other viable center on the roster.
The Lakers will likely avoid any massive move ahead of the trade deadline, but there may be an addition or two through the buyout market.
Beyond that, the team will remain patient with their two stars as they hope to return to full strength before the playoffs to make a strong push toward another NBA title.