After taking another loss on Friday, the Lakers are looking anywhere for some help in their bid to turn their season around.
Naturally, with Anthony Davis on the sidelines, their best path to contention may already be under contract.
Unfortunately, there's a chance Davis could be out for the remainder of the season, with the latest update giving a 4-5 week timetable for his return to action.
The Lakers dropped to 27-32 with Friday's loss to the Clippers, ninth in the Western Conference and playing without Davis for what sources told ESPN are likely another four to five weeks with a right mid-foot sprain. The Lakers believe they'll have the expiring contract of guard Russell Westbrook ($47.1 million), Talen Horton-Tucker, and first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to use in trades.
Since his arrival in 2019, Davis has shown the Lakers just how dominant he can be. During the team's title run in 2020, he was crucial for the squad o both ends of the floor, and many experts viewed him as the future of the franchise.
After lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy, however, AD has struggled to stay on the floor with various injuries, including this mid-foot sprain that will keep him out for almost two months.
Durability has been a major issue, and some are already losing faith that he can carry the Lakers in the post-LeBron era.
"I didn't want to say this, because I have mad love and respect for Anthony Davis. I still think this brother is a star, he's averaging 23 and 9 and shooting better than 50% from the field. But just 16% from three-point range, 11-65 this year. just atrocious three-point shooting. Ladies and gentlemen, we gonna talk about the Lakers beyond this season. They have to trade Anthony Davis," argued Stephen A. Smith on First Take. "You don't keep Anthony Davis, here's why: his value is his value as a player, but durability is a question mark at age 28. As you get older, those durability questions are going to be even more prevalent. So when you think about how his stock is going to be as high as it's ever going to be, isn't that right now?"
Without Davis for pretty much the remainder of the season, the Lakers are going to have to rely on Russel Westbrook and LeBron James to step up and produce in his absence. These next few weeks will be a major test for both of them.
Beyond that, there is reason to question the future of Davis. With LeBron almost 20 years into his NBA career, he needs a partner who he can count on.
AD just isn't that guy right now.