This has to be a major concern for the Los Angeles Lakers as the season winds down. There is a strong possibility that Anthony Davis could leave the Lakers this offseason. While he could earn a Super Max deal if he says, it may not be about the money in the end.
The Lakers are a team that’s built to win now. Just like any other team LeBron James has been a part of. But the difference with this is, James is not getting any younger. The 2020 season will be his 18th in the NBA and while he’s still producing, the front office should pay attention to what’s going on in his personal life and what the NBA world is dealing with after the sudden death of Kobe Bryant. James may not want to play too much longer.
And what that does is put Davis in a tight situation. He came to LA to play alongside James. But if the Lakers don’t walk away with the title this season, will that cause Davis to jump ship?
In New Orleans, Davis did all he could to carry a franchise. It didn’t work. So, is he ready to do that again in Los Angeles with a bigger spotlight on him? The Staples Center will always be the House that Kobe Bryant built and no player will ever walk in his shoes. Not even Davis. This could prove to be too much for his scrawny shoulders to bear.
Plus, there are too many options out there for him.
With Super Teams being built every season, teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets, and even possibly the Brooklyn Nets can steal Davis away. It seems far-fetched now but come this offseason, with a few roster moves and trades, those teams can take a shot at Davis.
If he does leave, what’s next for the Lakers? During the NBA trade deadline, the Lakers explored the possibility of moving Kyle Kuzma. What if his feelings are a bit hurt over the business side of things? Rajon Rondo is no longer an elite player and the rest of the roster are just additions to surround Davis and James. What it boils down to is either a rebuild or a spending frenzy in free agency.
The Lakers are no strangers to opening up their checkbooks but how many are willing to waste their prime years playing with an aging LeBron and one-dimensional players like Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope?
For the Los Angels Lakers, it’s Championship or Bust. Even by winning, it really does them no good. James will finish out his contract in LA and retire with his family. Davis still has at least another 10 years left in him but will they be spent in LA rebuilding a franchise when he can team up with other young superstars?
All the Lakers and Davis can do now is downplay the offseason as their focus is on a ring in 2020. But when the lights dim and the pen comes out, which team name will be on the new contract?