The acquisition of Anthony Davis was a major turning point for the Lakers. Before his arrival, LeBron James failed to lift the Purple and Gold off the ground and everyone knew they needed to make a major change before they could compete for a title.
The Lakers answered that summer by trading most of their young core for AD, whose partnership with LeBron led to a Championship in 2020.
Fast forward two seasons and the Lakers are once again struggling to keep their heads above the water. After standing pat at the deadline, things are looking bleak for the 9th seeded Purple and Gold. Some, however, are looking beyond the 2021-22 campaign.
In a segment on NBA Countdown, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith gave an interesting take on how the Lakers could salvage their future.
"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. 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? And if you're looking at LeBron James and the fact that you need additional pieces, Anthony Davis is the guy that you can get a lot for."
Davis' injury concerns are nothing new. Through 9 years in the NBA, he has only played over 70 games in a season twice. In the 2020-21 season, he played just 36 games in total.
As he approaches 30, one has to wonder how much worse things will get. Trading him for a more reliable player, or even some young assets for the future, might not be the wrong call.
For now, he will continue to work with his teammates to turn the season around.