NBA Legend Calls for Lakers to Trade Anthony Davis - Sport News

NBA Legend Calls for Lakers to Trade Anthony Davis

Lakers star Anthony Davis’ stock is the highest it has been in years. After being previously labeled injury-prone and soft for his inability to stay healthy, Davis has appeared in 68 of the Lakers’ 73 games this season (as of March 28), changing the narrative about how he’s perceived around the league.

NBA legend Jamal Crawford feels the Rob Pelinka-led Lakers front office must capitalize on Davis’ rising trade value. On the March 27 episode of “The Big Podcast” with Shaquille O’Neal, Crawford explained why trading Davis would be the most viable way for Los Angeles to surround LeBron James with a championship-level roster.

“They don’t have enough to even compete [for a championship] right now,” Crawford said of the Lakers. “My thing is, if LeBron is still your best player at this point, I’m looking at trading Anthony Davis. You can get four or five pieces [back] that fit LeBron if LeBron’s still going to be your best player. If I can get [back] a Kyrie Irving-type [star guard]… they need another dominant wing scorer.”

To Crawford’s point, the Lakers find themselves in the ninth seed in the Western Conference and would need to win two elimination games in April’s play-in tournament to qualify for the playoffs. As such, if the Lakers fail to reach the postseason, the franchise could likely explore some trades this offseason.

Should Lakers Trade Austin Reaves Instead?
O’Neal, meanwhile, feels that the Lakers should build a trade package around Austin Reaves instead of parting with Davis.

“LeBron is trying to add to his legacy, so I’m gonna help him out,” O’Neal said. “Got to get rid of Reaves. Give me another guy who can do that but is a little more consistent. I’m not saying Reaves isn’t consistent, but when you’re playing for a championship, you can have no inconsistency. I’m going to use Reaves and try and get back three or four shooters.”

In fairness to Reaves, the Lakers guard has seen a steady uptick in his production across the board this season, averaging 16.1 points, 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds. Furthermore, Reaves has often been called upon as “the closer” by Lakers coach Darvin Ham, especially in close games such as the win over the Bucks on March 26.

Another Late-Season Surge Incoming?
While it’s easy to count out the ninth-seeded Lakers at this point, James & Co. were in a similar position exactly a year ago. Last season, the seventh-seeded Lakers made an improbable run to the Western Conference Finals.

Analyst Tim Legler, for one, believes the Lakers have the requisite pieces to make a similar run in this year’s postseason.

“I think this is an important moment for the Lakers,” Legler said on the March 27 episode of ESPN’s “First Take” after the Lakers’ win over the Bucks. “As Darvin Ham said, it was one of their best wins of the year. It was also their first four-game winning streak of the year. I’m not saying they’re going to the finals — I’m not taking that leap yet — but I do think this is the kind of win that can carry weight with a team.”

The Lakers followed up that win over the Bucks with another victory against the Grizzlies on March 27, extending their winning streak to five games.

Can the Lakers ride the momentum to another deep postseason run? In the event that history repeats itself, do the Lakers really need to fiddle with the roster? Their front office could be posed with a lot of questions this summer.

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