Anthony Davis is seeing more minutes at center since Darvin Ham became the Lakers‘ head coach and he’s still trying to get comfortable in that role, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. After Monday’s game, Davis looked back at L.A.’s last championship season when he was usually on the court with either JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard.
“I think roles just changed a little bit as far as me and positions,” he said. “In ’19/20, I was a roamer where I could be on whoever the forward is and help take everyone. It’s tough for me to do that when I’m guarding the five. Still can do it – still have to do it, find a way to do it.”
Goon notes that the Lakers have been through several centers since then, but none has been as effective. They tried Marc Gasol, Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan, and even brought Howard back. Thomas Bryant‘s thumb injury this season and Damian Jones‘ disappointing start have forced Davis to spend most of his time in the middle.
There’s more from Los Angeles:
- A 2-8 start has led to speculation that Davis might be traded, but the Lakers aren’t giving serious consideration to that option, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Buha points out that Davis is seeing the ball less since his switch to center, with a 25.5 usage percentage that’s the lowest since his second NBA season. However, his defense is as good as ever and Buha believes he would be the favorite for Defensive Player of the Year if L.A. had a better record.
- Even though they aren’t winning, a lot of the Lakers’ offseason moves are working out, Buha adds. Lonnie Walker is fourth on the team in scoring and has been worth the investment of the mid-level exception; Troy Brown is starting and has been L.A.’s best 3-and-D option; and Juan Toscano-Anderson has provided energy and defense off the bench. An exception has been Patrick Beverley, who is posting career-low numbers in several offensive categories.
- The Lakers will be “prudent” with their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, says Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link). With the team not even assured of reaching the playoffs, Charania hears that the front office may only be interested in “marginal” deals, rather than seeking a major trade involving those first-rounders.