The Lakers have announced that Anthony Davis will be out for 3 more weeks. This implies that they’re in the buyout and trade markets for big men.
Anthony Davis is the best partner LeBron James has ever had, as he proved last season. AD was the top scorer through the playoffs, and he was also the anchor of their stellar defense.
With AD in the team, the Lakers were good enough to rampage through the Western Conference while dropping just 3 games. The Lakers are doing an okay job without him in the lineup. But they’d have loved it if LeBron James was the one taking games off instead of him.
It will be a prudent thing for Rob Pelinka to bring another center into their ranks. We take a look at some of the realistic prospects they could land for an Anthony Davis replacement.
3 centers the Lakers could sign in order to replace Anthony Davis
#1 Hassan Whiteside
There are a few things about Whiteside’s game that need to be fine-tuned, but he’s a great fit on the Lakers – theoretically. He brings shot-blocking, vertical spacing and defensive energy to an already elite Lakers defense.
He’s also on a minimum deal, and looking for more playing time. The Marc Gasol experiment does not seem to have worked all that well for the Lakeshow, so there are minutes for Whiteside to take. The Kings will need to waive him for the Lakers to add him on their roster.
#2 JaVale McGee
The Lakers sent JaVale McGee off to the Cavaliers in a trade in order to make room for Marc Gasol. Since the latter player hasn’t worked out so well, perhaps getting the more successful rim-runner back is a viable solution.
McGee does not figure to be in the Cavs’ long-term plans. Cleveland already has Larry Nance Jr, Kevin Love and Jarrett Allen on its squad. LeBron likes to play with a core group of players, and McGee has proved to be a reasonably good bargain for them in the past.
#3 PJ Tucker
This is a signing the Lakers should be making even with a fully-fit squad. Tucker fits perfectly into the Lakers’ playing style. He knows his role, doesn’t overdo his act on the court and defends like his life depends on it.
The Lakers may need to take every easy bucket they can in a prospective Finals matchup with Kevin Durant, James Harden and the Nets. PJ Tucker will go a long way into replacing Anthony Davis, should he not be available at the time.