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