The Los Angeles Lakers have suffered a disheartening blow after star forward Anthony Davis sustained a left knee injury that will require him to miss at least the next four weeks. Davis’s absence leaves a significant void that the Lakers may have to venture into the trade market. This could cause the team to consider acquiring disgruntled big man from star Myles Turner.
Anthony Davis is expected to miss at least four weeks
As the Lakers move forward next month, it will be without the eight-time All-Star big man after sustaining an MCL sprained left knee.
The injury occurred in the third quarter of Friday’s loss to the Timberwolves after forward Jaden McDaniels lost his balance and fell into Davis’ knee. The tall star man needed help leaving the pitch and entering the locker room.
Injury has plagued Davis throughout his career as he has missed a lot of playing time since joining the Lakers. In his debut campaign, he played 62 games while helping the franchise win the 2020 NBA title. Last season, he only played 36 games with a calf injury related to his Achilles tendon. which forced him to miss three months.
The Lakers will handle the latter situation very carefully, given its importance to their NBA title chances. Despite his offensive difficulties, shooting (17.9% on 3 points), he remained one of the best defensive factors in the league. His absence creates a gaping defensive void while putting more offensive weight on LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.
Davis’ injury may prompt the Lakers to push hard to acquire a disgruntled tall man to fortify their frontcourt.
Anthony Davis’ devastating injury just forced Lakers to consider desperate trade for Myles Turner
The Lakers’ slow start has generated outside doubt about their chances of fighting for an NBA title.
It’s a germinated dialogue towards potential business targets, with Indiana Pacers star big man Myles Turner mentioned prominently. Turner is increasingly unhappy in Indiana because he wants to play with a franchise that has no plans to rebuild itself.
The 25-year-old is one of the best defensive men in the league, leading the league with 2.9 blocks per game. Turner is also a very effective scorer, shooting 51.3% from the ground, including 36.4% beyond the arc. The Lakers’ interest in him stems from his defensive prowess.
Davis’ prolonged absence increases the pressure on Los Angeles to keep the boat afloat. Adding Turner would help significantly feel the void in the painting. However, the difficult part of the equation centers on his contract as he is in the third year of his four-year, $ 80 million contract which holds a cap of $ 18 million this season.
Since the Lakers face the salary cap, they need to move their highest paid players. Outside of their big three, Talen Horton-Tucker is next at $ 9.5 million, while Kendrick Nunn is next at $ 5 million. Beyond that, all of the other players on the roster are doing the veteran’s minimum with a cap of around $ 1.7 million.
This premise shows that the Lakers are okay with moving Horton-Tucker if they pursue a trade for a player with a significant salary. Los Angeles has generated considerable interest from several teams for the 21-year-old. If the front office is ready to move in this direction, a move could quickly become achievable.
Jerami Grant is among the handful of players LA could acquire
Turner certainly makes the most sense, but other options can quickly emerge.
Recent reports suggest the Lakers are interested in Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant. Since joining the Pistons, the 27-year-old has become a very reliable offensive factor, averaging north of 20 points.
Grant is in year two of his three-year, $ 60 million contract which holds a cap of around $ 20 million for the 2021-22 season. The Lakers’ interest in Grant dates back to his time with the Denver Nuggets, where he demonstrated his versatility as a strong goalscorer and defensive factor.
Los Angeles could also sue New York Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson, who the front office has long wanted to acquire. Robinson offers solid rim protection as he is in the final year of his contract, earning just $ 1.8 million.
The Lakers held a stake in Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba, who is in the final year of his contract with a salary of $ 7.5 million. Bamba could provide the youth and length that we so badly need.
Ultimately, if Los Angeles wants to strengthen the frontcourt, they will have options.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.
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