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Anthony Davis Says He Expects to Play Center For Lakers: 'Nothing Is Set in Stone'

Adam WellsSeptember 28, 2021

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis is keeping an open mind about which position he will play during the 2021-22 season. 

Speaking to reporters during Tuesday's media session, Davis said he expects to play center at times this season even though "nothing is set in stone" right now. 

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Anthony Davis on how he feels playing at center <a href="https://t.co/ozDeaFc5vs">pic.twitter.com/ozDeaFc5vs</a>

Davis has said throughout his career that he prefers not playing center because of the physical toll the position takes on his body. 

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has agreed with Davis' sentiment about playing the 5. 

Harrison Faigen @hmfaigen

Frank Vogel reiterates that the reason they don't play Anthony Davis at the five more is to avoid the banging he'd sustain if he played that position full-time, and because he says that for most of the season the numbers were better with Davis at the four.

Vogel admitted Tuesday that trying to figure out the balance between Davis' minutes at power forward and center this season is "still to get determined."

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

Vogel on AD: “He’s played center the last 2 years. It’s just what type of balance we’re going to have. That’s still to get determined.”<br><br>He said AD played more 4 in 2019-20 and more 5 in 2020-21. The plan for this season is for AD to play more 5, but as always, he’ll play both.

Even though the Lakers have sporadically used Davis at center, particularly during their run to the NBA title in the bubble, he has mostly stayed at power forward. 

Per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook hashed out how their partnership would work even before the Lakers acquired Westbrook from the Washington Wizards:

"James and Davis talked about the two of them changing positions if that was best for the team—James moving from small forward to power forward and Davis from power forward to center.

"Westbrook let James and Davis know he doesn’t mind playing off the ball when James initiates the offense, something he did while playing alongside James Harden with the Houston Rockets."

The Westbrook trade took a large chunk out of the Lakers' depth. They sent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and draft rights to Isaiah Jackson to Washington in exchange for the 2016-17 NBA MVP. 

Los Angeles did sign Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan to play center. Neither player has averaged more than 22 minutes per game since the 2018-19 season. 

Davis is entering the 2021-22 campaign hoping to have better injury luck than he did last season. The eight-time All-Star missed 30 games from Feb. 16-April 19 because of calf and heel issues. 

In the first round of the playoffs, Davis suffered a strained groin in Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns. He sat out Game 5 and only played five minutes in Game 6. 

Davis posted the worst shooting percentage of his career (49.1) and his lowest rebound average (7.9 per game) in 36 starts last season. His 21.8 points per game were his fewest since the 2013-14 season with the New Orleans Pelicans (20.8). 

The Lakers will open their preseason schedule on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets. Their regular-season opener is on Oct. 19 against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.    

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