Going into the NBA regular season — which tips off next month — there are a handful of uncertainties hovering over the Los Angeles Lakers like whether or not Avery Bradley can return to his Boston Celtics form and Dwight Howard’s overall health. One thing is for certain, though: Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play center.
Davis first made it known that he’d prefer not to play center at his introductory press conference last month and he hasn’t softened on his stance much since then. At the NBA 2K20 launch party in Los Angeles last week, Davis reiterated that he views himself as a four, not a five.
Does that mean Lakers head coach Frank Vogel isn’t going to play him at center? No. In fact, during a recent interview with Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, Vogel said Davis will definitely spend some time at center during the regular season, but he doesn’t want to rely on Davis at center until much later in the season:
SA: This might be more of a training camp question, but is it important to determine whether Davis plays power forward or center?
FV: It is, in this regard: To me, he’s effective in both positions. But I don’t think it’s wise when your mindset is to be at your best going into the playoffs, to have him banging with centers for 82 games full-time. Does that mean he’s never going to do it in the regular season? No, of course he’s going to play some center in the regular season. But we want to make sure we keep the end goal in sight and getting him to April, for that playoff run, the right way.
So far, Vogel’s goals seems to align with Davis’s goals.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Davis is “comfortable” with the idea of playing center in the postseason, but not so much during the regular season. The Lakers reportedly signed Dwight Howard with that in mind.
It might not be ideal for Vogel to have to work his lineups around Davis’s wishes, but the Lakers can’t afford to test their superstar forward’s patience before he hits unrestricted free agency next summer. Hopefully it doesn’t throw a wrench in Vogel’s plans for the team.