Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2020

Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, More

0 of 3

    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Lakers haven't yet hung their 17th championship banner in the Staples Center, but they're already hard at work trying to earn No. 18.

    The NBA Finals winners are probably done making their biggest changes this offseason. Los Angeles didn't need to overhaul the squad and has brought in outside reinforcements to address its personnel departures.

    Anthony Davis' contract is the Lakers' most notable piece of outstanding business, but even that isn't much of an issue.

    Here are some rumors hovering around the franchise as the front office puts the finishing touches on its roster.

Davis Possibly Waiting on Giannis Decision

1 of 3

    Nobody seriously expects Davis to leave the Lakers in free agency. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported he's planning to stay in L.A. but may not reach a decision about his contract terms until after Thanksgiving.

    Brian Windhorst of ESPN provided more context Monday. He told SportsCenter that Davis might be more open to a long-term extension if Giannis Antetokounmpo commits to a supermax deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. If Antetokounmpo declined that opportunity, Davis could instead sign for two years with a player option in the second year.

    That would give Los Angeles a little more financial flexibility to not only re-sign Davis but also chase Antetokounmpo.

    Windhorst's report aligns somewhat with how the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner wrote that Davis and agent Rich Paul "informed Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manger Rob Pelinka that Davis wanted to see how the team would be put together before deciding the length of his contract."

    The 27-year-old obviously isn't content to stop with one NBA championship.

Lakers Placed Emphasis on Support Inside for Davis

2 of 3

    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    The Lakers made the signing of Montrezl Harrell official on Monday, and Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported they have a deal in place to sign Marc Gasol.

    According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the front office was already looking ahead to the playoffs with the Gasol move in particular:

    "Even though Davis is more than capable at center and played the position plenty during the Lakers' postseason run, sources told ESPN that it remains a priority for L.A.'s front office to fill the roster with other reliable centers so that Davis doesn't have to bear the brunt of the position during the arduous regular season."

    The quick turnaround between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons is likely to hit the Lakers and Miami Heat the hardest since they stayed in the Walt Disney World Resort bubble longer than any other teams.

    Managing his players' workloads will be pivotal for Frank Vogel. The head coach will probably lean on Davis to play more frequently at center during the playoffs, but it doesn't make sense to use him at the 5 too much during the regular season.

    In Harrell and Gasol, general manager Rob Pelinka has found the necessary support, and he might have given the team a better center rotation than it had with Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee.

Lakers Considered Dellavedova Before His Return to Cleveland

3 of 3

    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Matthew Dellavedova is staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers after agreeing to a one-year minimum contract, per ESPN.

    Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the Lakers "gave Dellavedova some consideration" before he secured his return to Cleveland.

    Depending on where LeBron James plays, adding another point guard may not be a bad idea. 

    James was the NBA leader in assists, averaging 10.2 per game, but part of lightening his workload could include leaning on him less as the primary playmaker. His 31.5 percent usage rate matched his career average, per Basketball Reference.

    Shifting James back to the frontcourt would mean a two-deep rotation of Dennis Schroder and Alex Caruso at the point. That's a solid pairing but leaves the Lakers an injury away from having one traditional point guard available.