Friday night’s Los Angeles Lakers win featured monster performances by three of the best players in the world: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Ivica Zubac. But after the game, two of those contemporaries sat down in a more friendly environment.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, James and Davis had dinner last night amid rumors of the big man’s eventual decision to leave the team that drafted him. According to Haynes, the Lakers are now in the “driver’s seat” to acquire the generational talent.
It’s easy to see what LeBron sees in Davis: a wasted talent who has only managed to get to the playoffs twice in seven years and someone who could produce for and even carry the franchise during the twilight years of LeBron’s career, whenever that might come.
James was criticized by anonymous “small-market” general managers earlier this week as he publicly commented on wanting to play alongside Davis. When asked about that after Friday’s game, LeBron had the perfect response:
LeBron James takes on the hullabaloo about his Anthony Davis quote. This was good. pic.twitter.com/ErJadhnOJ7
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 22, 2018
LeBron has been very patient with the development of the Lakers’ young core and the front office strategy of not going all-in too quickly. But it’s clear he sees a lot in the 25-year-old Davis given the emphasis to meet with him and speak about him publicly.
Davis’ camp (most likely) leaked out that the Pelicans best method of keeping him, a supermax extension he could be offered this summer, would not affect his decision to stay or go. He admitted as much to Haynes, saying that he would take “legacy over money.”
It seems clear that Davis (who has reportedly been given advice by opponents AND EVEN HIS TEAMMATES to find a new home) is on the way out if things do not drastically improve in New Orleans. The Pelicans are in danger of missing the playoffs once again, currently sitting at 15-18 and 13th in the Western Conference.
If the time comes, the Lakers may have the inside track on acquiring Davis. Even if they don’t have the trade assets that other teams might, they have the organization, superstar, representation and knowledge of how little the extra money means to him needed for Anthony Davis to force his way there.
This saga will take some time to unfold, at least until the summer. But the Lakers’ plan is starting to form and they have a real shot at bringing it into fruition.