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#pounditFriday, December 9, 2022

Lakers open to trading star player not named Russell Westbrook?

Rob Pelinka at a press conference

The Los Angeles Lakers have shown this year that they are in need of major changes heading into next season. It is a given that they will try to find a way to trade Russell Westbrook, but are they also open to moving another piece of their so-called Big Three?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was asked on Tuesday about the possibility of the Lakers trading Anthony Davis this summer. The NBA insider believes it will be discussed.

“I think it’ll be something that’s discussed,” Windhorst said. “I think it would be a mistake because you’re still talking about a guy — when healthy — who is a top-15 player. You’re not going to be replacing that.”

LeBron has basically served as de-facto general manager of the Lakers since he signed with them nearly four years ago. It seems highly unlikely that he would want the team to trade Davis, unless it was for another star player or two. As Windhorst noted, James is eligible for a contract extension this offseason.

“In August, LeBron is eligible to sign a contract extension. He will evaluate the moves of June and July and then extend or not,”Windhorst said. “This is going to be a very delicate couple of months when this season is mercifully over.”

Davis was arguably the biggest reason the Lakers won an NBA title two years ago. The biggest issue with him, of course, is health. He has played in just 37 games this season and been out since Feb. 16 with a foot injury. That is a big factor in why the Lakers are in danger of missing the playoffs.

It sounds like there could be some things for LeBron and the Lakers’ front office to smooth over this summer. If James wants Davis to remain in L.A., that will almost certainly be the outcome.

H/T Lakers Daily
Photo: Sep 27, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka answers a question during the Lakers media day at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, CA. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

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