Lakers Rumors: Latest on LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Camp Invitations, More

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2021

Lakers Rumors: Latest on LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Camp Invitations, More

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    Derick Hingle/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Lakers' quest for another NBA title starts now.

    Actually, it never really stops, does it? Essentially, as soon as the dust settled on the 2020-21 campaign, the front office turned its attention to the 2021-22 season.

    While the front office radically reshaped the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer, it's not quite done tinkering yet. And, because these are the Lakers, they aren't done making news, either.

    Let's dissect the latest discussions.

Position Changes for Lakers' Stars?

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Ever since bringing James and Davis together on the roster, the Lakers have had an overpowering "small-ball" lineup at their disposal. They aren't really sacrificing size with the 6'9", 250-pound James at power forward and the 6'10", 253-pound Davis at center, they're just getting the usual perks of playing small ball: better tempo, more athleticism, improved spacing, etc.

    Still, it's always been the kind of trump card they only play in major moments. Whether wanting to keep their stars comfortable or hoping to limit the physical wear and tear on these players, they've always been conscious of not overusing this frontcourt combo.

    Apparently, that might be changing.

    B/R's Jake Fischer reported that super agent Rich Paul "was telling other agents at the Chicago combine that LeBron and AD were sliding to the 4 and 5," via LeBron Wire.

    If this was going to be a more permanent move and not the change of pace it has been, that would certainly be notable. But it would also be curious as to why the Lakers signed both Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, traditional centers who are seemingly on the roster to soak up minutes there during the regular season.

Veteran Point Guard on Training Camp Radar?

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Darren Collison abruptly retired after the 2018-19 season, but that didn't silence his NBA story.

    There were talks of a possible comeback as early as Jan. 2020, and that conversation continues. The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported that while Collison recently worked out for the Golden State Warriors, "he might be eyeing a Lakers camp invite."

    Would L.A. want him around, though? That's hard to say.

    On one hand, he could be a cheap source of steady production, assuming he hasn't lost too much of a step since we last saw him pumping in 11.2 points and 6.0 assists per night. On the other, the Lakers might already be set at point guard. Russell Westbrook has the starting gig, James can play the position when needed and the second unit features both Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Nunn.

Ex-Lakers Center an Option for Pacific Division Rival?

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Marc Gasol started the first and last game of the Lakers' 2020-21 season, but in between there were many twists and turns. When they signed Andre Drummond in March, they moved Gasol from first to third string, and the relationship quickly spoiled from there.

    L.A. traded him this summer to the Memphis Grizzlies, who promptly bought out the final season of his contract. But that may not be the last the Lakers have seen of the veteran center.

    Slater dubbed Gasol "a name to watch" for the Warriors, and noted the two nearly joined forces last offseason "and might have done so had [Klay] Thompson not ruptured his Achilles before free agency."

    Golden State could use more size, skill and veteran savvy at the center spot, so Gasol could theoretically help. Whether that impacts the Lakers or not depends on whether both teams can get back to being Western Conference elites.