Anthony Davis helped propel the Lakers to the title in 2020, using his strength, size, and natural skills to edge out the rising Miami Heat in the Finals.
And while he did not win Finals MVP, his presence on the team is what put the team in a position to win in the first place.
The following season, however, Davis would fail to live up to his play from a year earlier. He missed a lot of time to injury and when he did take the floor, it was clear that there was something holding him back.
The Lakers would end their most recent campaign in the very first round, in a 6-game defeat at the hands of the younger and inexperienced Phoenix Suns.
Despite it all, though, ESPN's Kendrick Perkins predicts big things from AD in the future. In fact, during a segment on The Jump, the former league big man boldly proclaimed he will be the next NBA MVP.
"I’m predicting right now that he is going to be the one to win MVP next season. He sees all the slander, he’s hearing everything about Giannis, he’s very quiet at the moment… He’s working his tail off behind the scenes. Lakers got to do something but I would not panic if I’m a Lakers fan.”
Regarding the Lakers as a team, Perk insisted that they'll be back on the map next season.
“Long as you have LeBron James, long as you have Anthony Davis, you can fill in those spots… Both of those guys were not healthy… Before LeBron James got injured, he was playing at an MVP level, yes at year 18… Anthony Davis is going to come back on a mission…”
In the end, it's hard to argue that Davis isn't the Lakers' most important player. He raises their ceiling and gives LeBron that no. 2 he's needed his entire career.
So, it will be up to Davis to determine how far his team gets to the Championship in 2022. If he's in for an MVP season like Perkins thinks, it could spell disaster for the rest of the Western Conference.