The Lakers are using Anthony Davis off the bench in his return to action tonight after he missed five-and-a-half weeks with right foot issues, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. It marks just the sixth time in Davis’ career that he will be a reserve and the first since the 2013/14 season. Team doctors gave him clearance to play after watching his pre-game warmup.
“I’m happy for him, first and foremost,” coach Darvin Ham said. “I know how frustrating this process has been for him, especially at the level at which he was playing. I’m just happy for him, and definitely happy for us. We’ll get him out there, we won’t go too crazy with his minutes, and see how he responds.”
Davis will be kept on a restriction for a while, expected to begin at about 20-24 minutes per game. Ham told reporters he plans to arrange Davis’ playing time so he’s available late in the fourth quarter in case games are close. He also expressed confidence that Davis is fully ready to return after completing rehab.
“He’s gone through some rigorous therapy, weight training, weight-bearing exercises, activity on the court — both individually and some group workouts,” Ham said. “We would save him from himself if we thought there was any type of threat or harm that he could do to himself. So he had these boxes that he had to check, and he’s checked all of them. So we feel comfortable with him appearing tonight.”
There’s more from Los Angeles:
- Newly acquired Rui Hachimura should take minutes away from Troy Brown, Wenyen Gabriel and Juan Toscano-Anderson in the Lakers’ frontcourt, Jovan Buha of The Athletic states in a discussion with fellow Athletic writer Josh Robbins about Monday’s trade. Buha sees Hachimura as an upgrade in terms of size and athleticism, though Robbins cautions that he focused too much on scoring with the Wizards and didn’t develop other parts of his game.
- After the Hachimura deal, vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said the Lakers will only consider trading their 2027 or 2029 first-round picks if the deal makes them a championship “front-runner,” but Buha observes in a separate story that there doesn’t appear to be an available trade that would do that. Pelinka promised that the team will remain active in the trade market, but Buha doesn’t believe expectations should be high.
- Lonnie Walker and Austin Reaves will both be reevaluated Friday before the Lakers leave on a five-game road trip, tweets Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Walker, who was listed as questionable for tonight’s game, has left knee tendinitis, while Reaves is recovering from a strained left hamstring.