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Lakers Rumors: Rival Exec Believes Anthony Davis Injury Could Help LA in Trade Talks

Adam WellsDecember 23, 2022

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 11: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on December 11, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. 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 Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Nic Antaya/Getty Images

While no one thinks Anthony Davis' foot injury is good news for the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff chances, at least one rival executive thinks it could help them in trade talks.

Per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, the executive laid out the rationale for why not having Davis for a period of time can benefit the Lakers as they pursue help for their roster:

"Another rival said that if negotiated properly, he felt the Davis injury could actually help the Lakers' position in trade talks. The team's sought leverage in talks since the summer, with much of the league viewing them as 'desperate' to make some kind of trade.

"That, plus the early-season timing of any talks, has kept the asking price really high. This executive thought a Davis injury of any real severity would give the Lakers leverage they haven't had since the summer by giving them a very real reason to shut down talks and focus on the offseason."

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Davis is expected to miss at least one month because of a foot injury he suffered during the Lakers' 126-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 16.

The logic would seem counterintuitive because it's been an open secret the Lakers want to find trades that make them better for this season, but not having Davis for at least a month makes it harder for them to climb out of the hole they are currently in.

But teams might also think they could take advantage of the Lakers by assuming Davis' absence will cause them to completely crater in the standings. If Los Angeles can make a move that helps this season and at least tread water with Davis out, this could be a more formidable roster for the stretch run.

There are plenty of flaws with the executive's line of thinking, not least of which is it's not exactly clear when Davis will be back.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin said on Wednesday that Davis isn't wearing a boot and the team is seeking additional opinions "to figure out a course of action to get his foot right."

Foot injuries, particularly for big men, can be difficult to pinpoint an exact return timetable.

Davis hasn't been particularly durable in recent years. He missed 78 games in the previous two seasons combined.

If the Lakers are confident Davis only has to miss one month, they could perhaps try to take advantage of a team eager to make a deal.

Los Angeles has played better with 11 wins in its last 19 games after a 2-10 start. The team still ranks 13th in the Western Conference at 13-18 overall with games against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday and Dallas Mavericks on Christmas Day.