Lakers News: Anthony Davis to Wear No. 3 Next Season; LeBron Will Keep No. 23

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2019

Los Angeles Laker players LeBron James, center, and Anthony Davis, right, take in an NBA summer league basketball game between the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans, Friday, July 5, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)
Steve Marcus/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis announced early Saturday he'll wear No. 3 during his first year with the organization after plans to receive No. 23 from teammate LeBron James fell through.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Friday the Lakers were told by the NBA they'd need to work out a deal with Nike to make the number switch because the March 15 deadline for such changes had passed. But Nike had already produced a large quantity of James' No. 23 and wanted to avoid a financial hit.

So LeBron, who was expected to switch to No. 6, will keep his number for at least another season, and Davis will wear No. 3 for what he described as the first time since "elementary school."

Although the change could happen before the 2020-21 campaign, the timing could once again be tricky since Nike will want a final decision by March 15, and the former New Orleans Pelicans star can become an unrestricted free agent next summer thanks to a player option in his contract.

Regardless of the number on their backs, the Lakers are expected to contend for an NBA title after acquiring Davis to pair with James, giving them two of the league's top players.

They are the oddsmakers' third choice to win the 2020 championship with 6-1 odds behind only the rival Los Angeles Clippers (7-2) and Milwaukee Bucks (11-2), per Vegas Insider.

L.A. will officially introduce Davis in a press conference Saturday afternoon.

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