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Anthony Davis has played well enough to warrant committing to winning now

If part of waiting before trading Russell Westbrook was to see how the stars look this season, Anthony Davis has done more than enough to make the front office comfortable betting on him this year.

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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If the front office was waiting to see what Anthony Davis and LeBron James were capable of this season, at the very least, has done his part in trying to convince them to use future assets to compete. From that standpoint alone, Davis’ start to the season has been an overwhelming success.

The Lakers’ only chance at sustainable competition was Davis reclaiming his status among the NBA’s elite. Him doing so while surrounded by this questionable roster warrants, well, a better roster.

On defense, Davis has somehow kept the Lakers afloat — a legitimately shocking accomplishment given the injuries he’s had to make up for and the general lack of productive size across the roster. On offense, he’s cut down on his least efficient shots in favor of looks that might allow his production to be more predictable night in, night out.

More important than anything specific Davis is doing on the court, though, is that he’s been consistently on the court.

Everyone knows about Davis’ talent. We’ve seen him reach some incredible heights we just haven’t seen very often at his position. The question, fair or not, has always been about how often we got to see him out there at all. Now that he’s shown he can consistently play center and remain healthy, the front office should feel comfortable checking off this specific box on the list of things that would convince them to use the 2027 and ‘29 picks to more viably compete this year.

Now, the other important box was LeBron James’ health and his groin injury is certainly concerning. If he isn’t right, then there is nothing the Lakers could do with Westbrook that would turn the season around. So in all likelihood, they’ll probably wait to see when James comes back before they fully commit. The good news, though, is whenever that happens, they’ll already know what they’re getting from their second star.

This week on “The Anthony Irwin Show,” I welcomed Daman Rangoola to discuss Davis’ start to this season and how it impacts the Lakers’ decision. We also dove deep into the way the Lakers operate organizationally and which tweaks we’d like to see from them. The Lakers are also an interesting comparison to the Clippers as the opposite end of the organizational spectrum, which led to an interesting conversation on what both teams could learn from each other.

You can listen to all that and more on our latest episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.

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