Lakers’ next steps in wake of latest AD injury?

Raphielle Johnson and Dan Titus discuss the fallout from Anthony Davis’ latest injury and while both agree that Thomas Bryant will see an immediate boost in production, a trade could be on the horizon.

Video Transcript

– So you look at the Lakers– no AD. Thomas Bryant feels obvious, but is there anyone else, even if you want to expand on him, that you may be targeting this week?

Yeah, I wrote up my weekly Wavers article, and Thomas Bryant last night was 39% rostered. He’s now up to 51. So good on the fantasy community for jumping on that. Crazy swing of events, here, for AD. He was the top fantasy basketball player. And then what we all knew was going to happen, it’s a matter of time– down with an injury. So now that he’s out for a month, I think Thomas Bryant certainly has staying power here. But we were kind of chatting about it offline.

I think the Lakers got to make a move beyond this because right now they’re playing for the rest of the season right now. And by not having AD, I don’t think you can actually think that Thomas Bryant is going to be able to hold this team together along with LeBron, and Wes, and Russ Westbrook.

I think they’re going to make a deal. And I think, if I’m going back listening to some of the insiders at NBA, or excuse me– at Yahoo– Jake Fisher and Vince Goodwill we’re talking about how the Lakers are kind of waiting for other teams to make to move. I think they’re going to initiate this market and really start things going because they can’t afford to lose out on LeBron in his age, right now, while he’s healthy playing the best brand of basketball he’s played this season.

I think they’re going to make a move for like a Myles Turner, if that’s still available. Or maybe they’ll look for the Jazz. Or maybe the Bulls– the Bulls have been awful. That’s a team that’s definitely trending in the wrong direction. So I think there’s big men to be had. But in the meantime, Thomas Bryant has been pretty stellar, if you look at his starters minutes compared to being in a reserve role. He’s pretty much giving you a low-end double-double in some cases. Over the course of his career, he has 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.4 stocks.

So that’s what you can expect. That’s pretty much what he did in 2019-2020 when he was the starter for the Wizards. So as long as he doesn’t have any competition, which he really doesn’t. It’s like Wayne Gabriels is only backup. I think that Bryant’s going to be pretty solid unless the Lakers make a move.

Yeah, I think that’s the one thing. Like you mentioned, he’s played well these last two games. But eventually you find out why a backup is the backup. And the Lakers really aren’t in a position where they can afford to play this out. My one question is, how many assets do they have? They gave up a lot to get Anthony Davis to begin with. Russell Westbrook, gave up a good amount to get him as well. Don’t have much draft capital. A lot more of the league is eligible to be traded at that December 15 deadline, obviously. But they can’t afford to play this out because New Orleans holds their first-round pick.

Exactly.

If we end up in a situation where they just flame out and win by Jamar and Scoot Henderson wind up in New Orleans, a lot of people will be alternating between laughing at the Lakers and just being absolutely furious about the whole process.

Yeah, you’re right. The Pelicans are in the driver’s seat right now. So it’s funny how this all kind of works out years later. But they really only have two future firsts to dangle here. And a really not attractive Russell Westbrook contract that will come off the books next year.

So I think they’re going to make a move. The matter is just what Pelinka is thinking here. And I think now they’re going to– I feel like they should have made the move when AD was at his best because now your trade value, they know you’re desperate. They’re going to be getting scraps at this point, comparatively, of what they could have gotten maybe a month ago, had they tried to make a deal.

And who knows. Maybe they got to blow it up if this thing goes really left. We could see some other trades happening because I just don’t see really much of a path for success for this team if AD is not in there.

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