Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on LeBron James and Anthony Davis' Position

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 9, 2021

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 6:  LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a preseason game against the Phoenix Suns on October 6, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It may not seem like it, but there are, in fact, NBA rumors that don't revolve around the ongoing saga between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Los Angeles Lakers, for instance, have a couple interesting updates on two of their top performers.

So, what's the latest in La-La Land? We'll dissect the latest discussions to find out.


LeBron James Didn't Lose Weight, Added Lean Muscle

It feels strange to say this about one of the world's best athletes, but LeBron James looks slimmer than normal this preseason.

While Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka previously said James had dropped some weight ahead of his 19th season, it turns out the King might have just redistributed some of his weight instead.

"I asked LeBron about it, he kept it close to the vest, but he said, 'Listen, I'm always looking for ways to find an edge, find a margin,'" ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported on The Lowe Post podcast (h/t Silver Screen & Roll). "I spoke to a source close to LeBron, [and] it's not necessarily that he lost weight, but he's added lean muscle."

What exactly does that mean? Well, nothing good for opposing defenses, that's for sure.

But perhaps James' desire to build muscle stems from the Lakers' offseason acquisition of Russell Westbrook. With Westbrook around, James could be moving away from the point guard spot and logging more minutes at power forward.

He wouldn't want to sacrifice size to move up a position, and the added muscle should leave him better equipped to bang with opposing bigs.


Still Possible Anthony Davis Stays at Power Forward

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 3: Anthony Davis #3 talks with DeAndre Jordan #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on October 3, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
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Despite the NBA's obsession with position-less basketball, there sure seems to be plenty of focus on the position label attached to Anthony Davis.

It does make sense, though.

The Lakers, as strong of a championship threat as there is in the Western Conference, have typically been most lethal with Davis anchoring the interior. But they've often saved that look for the playoffs, letting more traditional bigs soak up the regular-season wear-and-tear at the center position. They seemed ready to go that route again after adding both DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard this offseason.

Davis, himself, has said he's ready for more minutes at the 5, but there might not be as many needed as expected.

"We're not only going to see AD start at the 5," Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell said on The Laker Film Room Podcast (h/t Silver Screen & Roll). "There's going to be plenty of times where Dwight and DeAndre do start. ... I know that there are plenty of people internally that still like starting a classic big."

It seems likely this is something the Lakers could tinker with all season. They could even make their starting lineup matchup-based and have different options for different opponents.

Ultimately, though, the significance of the starting five lags well behind which five players will comprise the closing group. And when wins and losses are hanging in the balance late in games, Lakers fans should probably expect to see Davis manning the middle in those moments.