Anthony Davis is gearing up for an all-out monster season as the Lakers have been putting all the pieces together for this to become reality. AD is already regarded as the best big man in the game, but still, I don’t believe he has reached his full potential.
AD is skipping the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which starts on the last day of August and continues into September — the NBA season begins in October. By skipping out on the FIBA World Cup (which tons of high-caliber players do), AD is giving his body further rest heading into the 2019/2020 season.
When he requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans last season, the team clapped back by cutting his minutes and sitting him out during fourth quarters. While this was a cost-measured approach by the team because his trade value would go down if he got hurt, the decision to frequently rest AD sets him up to go into next season fully healthy and with more rest than he has had in a long time.
The power forward/center out of Kentucky had spent his entire career with the Pelicans, until June 15, when he was traded to the Lakers. AD just had his introductory press conference with the Lakers on July 13, and the franchise considers him a huge piece for the team in the present, as well as one to build around for the future.
While LeBron may be the better player, bigger name, and face of the franchise, the Lakers are already building around AD. For a second, think about the moves the Lakers have made once they lost out on Kawhi Leonard.
The signed Danny Green, a great three-point shooter and wing defender. As well as Boogie Cousins, a player AD loved to play with in New Orleans. He’s also a good shooter and a tactical passing big man.
What about the re-signing of Rajon Rondo? He’s another member of that Pelicans team with AD and Boogie, who has shown his value in big playoff games even at the tail end of his career. Add the signings of shooters in Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley, and Avery Bradley, and the roster fits AD perfectly.
But the biggest piece of all is LeBron James running point guard and setting him up. AD will flourish off of the pick-and-roll with James on the ball, and three shooters/slashers surrounding them.
Now that AD is officially a part of the Taco Tuesday crew, it proves that the partnership between him and LeBron could be big for the Lakers. Their friendship, Davis noted, is the reason he wanted to come to LA.
There is no greater evidence than last year of the fact that LeBron needs shooters around him to fully do his thing. The Lakers did their job this summer of getting these types of players in free agency to surround him with.
But the makeup of the Lakers is for AD to be the best that he can be. It is of optimal importance for the future of the franchise that Davis is fully comfortable and successful from the jump.
We know what LeBron can do on the biggest stage. Now, it’s time to see what AD can do — he is the thing that can put them over the top. And with all the pieces in place for him to be successful, nothing should stand in his way.