Lakers Rumors: Anthony Davis Wouldn't Return 'So Much Value' in Trade Due to Injuries

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 4, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 05: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Lakers 121-110.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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There is reportedly talk within the NBA that the Los Angeles Lakers wouldn't be able to get a ton in return for superstar big man Anthony Davis in a trade because of his injury history.

Appearing Wednesday on ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith said: "I know for a fact by numerous executives I've spoken to, you can't get but so much value for Anthony Davis because he's perpetually injured and he's not reliable healthwise."

Davis helped lead the Lakers to a championship alongside LeBron James two seasons ago, but he has struggled mightily with injuries since then, playing a total of just 76 regular-season games over the past two seasons.

When healthy, the 29-year-old Davis is one of the best players in the NBA regardless of position. That is backed up by his eight All-Star selections, four All-NBA nods, four NBA All-Defensive Team choices and one championship in 10 seasons with the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans.

AD also boasts impressive career averages with 23.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game, while shooting 51.5 percent from the field.

In his first season with the Lakers, which yielded a championship, Davis played in 62 out of 71 regular-season games and finished with averages of 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.5 steals per contest.

He also came up huge in the playoffs with 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game in a co-starring role alongside James.

Expectations were huge for Davis after that, but injuries have wreaked havoc on him and prevented him from returning to that level of play.

Davis appeared in only 36 regular-season games in 2020-21, forcing the Lakers to go through the play-in tournament to make the playoffs. While the Lakers did make it, they were ousted in the first round by the eventual Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns.

This season, Davis played in just 40 games, and with James also missing significant time, the Lakers went 33-49 and didn't even qualify for the play-in tournament.

Davis was excellent when he played, though, averaging 23.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

One of the few ways the Lakers could shake up their roster significantly for next season and beyond would be to trade a major piece like Davis.

Davis is set to earn a total of nearly $80 million over the next two seasons, and he has a $43 million player option for 2024-25. That means a team would be taking on a sizable financial commitment if they traded for him.

It could be worth it if Davis can find a way to stay on the court, but if Smith is right about Davis' trade value, keeping AD and hoping for better injury luck is likely the best course of action for the Lakers.