Lakers must trade Anthony Davis


Erik Drost

Erik Drost | Wikimedia Commons

Josias Fernandez

Anthony Davis is without a doubt one of the best players in the NBA. However, since the 2020 Championship, the big man hasn’t been the same player.

Davis’s long injury record has made a huge impact on his career. His injury issues are so extensive that people on social media call him “Anthony Street Clothes Davis” in reference to his inability to stay healthy.

Anthony Davis was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans as the first pick in the 2012 NBA draft. After spending seven seasons with the Pelicans, Davis requested a trade from New Orleans. Davis’s preference was the Los Angeles Lakers, who’d acquired LeBron James in the 2018 summer.

The Lakers were looking for another star in 2019, and Davis was their main target. But the Lakers didn’t see what Davis’s main problem was back then.

Since Davis was drafted by the Pelicans in 2012, his highest game-played season was in 2017 with 75 games. He average 61 games per season during his time with the Pelicans.

The Lakers were desperately looking for another star, who could join an older LeBron James. So the Lakers gave up their entire young core and future lottery picks in a polemic trade with the Pelicans to acquire the big man.

Davis has four seasons with the Lakers and only 165 games played so far. An NBA season has 82 games, so Davis has been away from the Lakers for more than two seasons.

The Lakers have another problem with Davis. Since the 2020 Championship, his basketball performance has been questioned by multiple sources.

According to Basketball Reference, Davis averaged 26.1 points per game in 2020; while in 2021 and 2022, he averaged 21.8 ppg and 23.2 ppg, respectively; Davis also averaged a career low in rebounds per game in 2021 with 7.9.

Some reports said that the championship obliterated Davis’s passion and hunger for winning. Davis’s critics on social media have increased.

Since the 2020 Championship, the Lakers have qualified for the playoffs only once (2021): Phoenix Suns defeated them in the first round. The elimination gave James his first-round playoff loss in his 20-year career.

After the disastrous season, the Lakers decided to acquire Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards, a trade that involved their remaining championship pieces.

In 2022, the Lakers were even worse than the previous season. The Lakers didn’t even qualify for the NBA playoffs. If thefront office doesn’t do something different this year, it may be another no-playoff season.

It could be argued that this is Davis’s comeback year. Currently he is posting 26.7 ppg and is having his best season with the Lakers. However, the injuries keep him away from the glory. As of right now, Davis has missed 20 games this season because of a foot injury.

The Lakers’ solution is to trade Davis. The team could get some good pieces that can complement LeBron in his final years.

The Los Angeles team could get some picks from the potential Davis trade. The Lakers only have three first-round picks available this decade. The Pelicans-Lakers trade could get even better for the Pelicans if the Lakers front office does not move Davis for better pieces.

The Lakers should trade Anthony Davis at this moment because the big man is posting career-high numbers. Davis’s market value is increasing, and the Lakers should take advantage of that for the franchise’s future.