Anthony Davis Responds To Lakers Trade Rumors: 'F--k, I Don't Know'April 7, 2022
It's no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers need to make some major changes after a disastrous 2021-22 season that will see them miss both the playoffs and play-in tournament.
But will one of those changes be entertaining trade offers for superstar big man Anthony Davis?
"I mean, I don't think they're planning on doing anything [with me]," Davis told ESPN's Dave McMenamin on Thursday. "I don't know, man. F--k, I don't know."
It's hard to imagine the Lakers having any desire to give up on a star like Davis, even if his injury history continues to be a concern. More likely, rebuilding around the duo of LeBron James and AD would be ideal.
The question is whether that's even possible.
Russell Westbrook would be the obvious piece to move, assuming he exercises his $47 million player option. Given that Westbrook probably wouldn't get half of that on the open market after a poor 2021-22 season, he's going to exercise that option.
Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz @LeBatardShow
“I don’t know that we’ve had a team fall more short of expectations than they did.” - <a href="https://twitter.com/realStanVG?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@realStanVG</a> on the Los Angeles Lakers.<br>📺 <a href="https://t.co/v3Yg3vhv9C">https://t.co/v3Yg3vhv9C</a><br>🎙 <a href="https://t.co/Htfa4tADsr">https://t.co/Htfa4tADsr</a> <a href="https://t.co/TR8Ta89dtL">pic.twitter.com/TR8Ta89dtL</a>
But that option is also going to make it extraordinarily difficult to trade Westbrook. And the Lakers don't exactly have many sweeteners to entice a team to take on that deal, though they could deal first-round picks starting with their 2027 selection.
NBA reporter Marc Stein (h/t NBA Central) wrote Thursday that the Charlotte Hornets were a team to watch on the Russell Westbrook front, despite already having a young and exciting point guard in LaMelo Ball.
The more likely option, however, is that the Lakers will have to package future picks to essentially salary dump Westbrook on a tanking team with cap space to spare. The Lakers would probably have to take some salary back—and any team taking on Westbrook's huge salary should try to pry 2027 and 2029 firsts from the Lakers—but if they manage to pull off that trick, it would free them up to chase other veterans in free agency.
If they can't find any other takers for Westbrook, however, they're stuck with him. It's a very real possibility. And since the team already owes $139.5 million to four players—LeBron, Russ, AD and Talen Horton-Tucker—and thus has very little cap room to work with in free agency, the only other real option for shaking up the roster is trading AD.
"I can't control those things. That's an upstairs thing. A Klutch, Rich Paul thing. My agency," Davis noted. "I mean, my job is to go out and play basketball. Obviously I love it in L.A. If that's something that they're considering, then we'll have a conversation about it. I don't know what they're talking about, what's the plan."
Nobody really knows what the plan is for these Lakers. They only know that the last plan flopped immensely, leaving them in choppy waters going forward.