Anthony Davis
Should the Los Angeles Lakers trade Anthony Davis?
Anthony Davis

Should the Los Angeles Lakers trade Anthony Davis?

Published Mar. 31, 2022 4:40 p.m. ET

It has been 18 months since Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers stood atop the NBA universe.

The Lakers' do-it-all big man was unstoppable in the 2020 NBA bubble, averaging 28 points against the league’s best centers and carrying the Lakers to their first NBA Finals Championship in a decade. 

But nagging injuries have made that version of Davis feel like a distant memory to fans. Now, reports are beginning to surface that L.A.'s front office is interested in clearing the eight-time All-Star off its books.

Making a guest appearance on "The Herd" Wednesday, Nick Wright argued that the Lakers would be foolish to trade Davis, adding that A.D. is not far removed from his dominant form and that he’s the best option to help an aging LeBron James win now. 


"I need somebody to complete the sentence for me," Wright said. "Trade A.D. for whom? For what? Because if LeBron is still there, you should be on the here and now. If you're going to trade Davis for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a bunch of picks, how does that make you better?

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Davis has played in just under half of the Lakers' regular-season games since the start of the 2020-21 season and has remained out of the lineup with a foot injury since Feb. 16. 

Despite his versatile offensive skillset, Davis' impact is missed most on the defensive end. The Kentucky product swatted 143 shots during the team's 2020 championship season, the third-most in the NBA that season. He helped lead the Lakers to the third-best adjusted defensive efficiency ranking during that campaign. Now, with their rim protector out of the lineup more often than not, the Lakers rank 22nd

"You [the Lakers] used to hang your hat [on defense] just a year ago," Skip Bayless said on "Undisputed" Wednesday. "The best rim protector on your team is that guy A.D. right, by far. And when he's right, he really was the biggest reason that you broke through in the bubble and won that championship."

Lakers should not consider trading Anthony Davis in offseason I UNDISPUTED

Skip Bayless explains why the Los Angeles Lakers should "not even consider" trading their best younger player in Anthony Davis.

But for fellow "Undisputed" co-host and Lakers fanatic Shannon Sharpe, believing that Davis can sustain his 2019 form and avoid injuries is wishful thinking. Davis’ battle with injuries long preceded his arrival in L.A., as the 6-foot-11 star has played 70-plus games just twice in his nine-year career. 

Davis is quickly approaching his 30th birthday, and with his injury woes intensifying, Sharpe struggles to see a road back to full health for the Lakers' big man.

"He just can't stay healthy," Sharpe said. That's been his M.O. his whole career. I don't think we're ever going to see what he truly could have become. It's a foot injury, it's a knee injury, it’s always something. I think the Lakers have to explore possibly moving off Anthony Davis."

Before worrying about his long-term prospects, the Lakers will need Davis to show flashes of his All-Star form. Davis is targeting a return Friday night against his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans.


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