Anthony Davis has been nothing short of great this season for the Lakers. Defensively, he’s held a Lakers roster comprised largely of guards and devoid of wings and forwards. Offensively, while his jumper still hasn’t found consistency, he’s embraced playing center and flourished in doing so, shooting 52.9% from the field.
It hasn’t been a perfect start, particularly in recent games where’s struggled in the second half. That coinciding with him battling an illness that has plagued multiple members of the team already probably is notable. All in all, though, AD has largely been the player the Lakers have needed him to be in order to have success this year.
Why, then, are we already doing this nonsense about trading him?
On Monday, notable Boston media personality Bill Simmons used the term “buzzing” to describe how the league is talking about the possibility of an AD trade. It’s an odd word to use and it’s not even a reference to any source from the Lakers.
On top of that, it’s basically referencing gossip around the NBA when there are few things this league loves more than gossiping. It’s about as vague as “reporting” could come.
But because it’s the Lakers and Anthony Davis and because everyone loves opening up the trade machine, it became something of a thing. The fact is, though, that the Lakers shouldn’t and almost certainly aren’t entertaining a trade offer for AD for a very simple reason: they won’t get back value for him.
With LeBron James on the roster, the Lakers aren’t interested in rebuilding. This is a win-now mode, so take any trade that is based on draft picks or prospects not ready to contribute right away off the table. Immediately, then, you’ve basically eliminated the entire pool of teams that would trade for him.
From that point, you’re debating trades that teams aren’t going to entertain. There’s no AD for Kevin Durant trade that’ll happen. Trading him for a Damian Lillard (won’t happen) or a Pascal Siakam (won’t happen) or Bradley Beal (won’t happen) is possible in theory but it’s basically fixing a sinking ship by removing your finger from one hole to plug another one.
If you trade AD, you’re removing your best interior defender and one of the very best in the league on that end of the court. Fixing the team’s shooting or adding wing depth comes at the cost of interior defense. Finding a trade that fixes BOTH of those things comes at the cost of having a superstar on the roster.
There is just no solution to the Lakers problems that fill their specific needs right now to be found in trading AD. And all of that is assuming that any of this “reporting” is sourced, which is dubious at best.