Report: Lakers being linked to center help in move that would presumably impact Anthony Davis

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly may be looking to add a center this coming offseason, which would theoretically allow them to utilize Anthony Davis more at power forward.

“The Lakers are monitoring their offseason options at center closely, per people with knowledge of the situation,” wrote Ian Begley of SNY.

“The Lakers have visited with some top centers in the draft. They have the No. 17 pick in the first round. The club could also obviously pursue a center in free agency. Adding a traditional big man would, in theory, allow Anthony Davis more opportunity to play power forward alongside a center.”

The report does not specify which centers the Lakers might be targeting in the 2024 NBA Draft later this month.

NCAA college basketball standouts Donovan Clingan (University of Connecticut), Zach Edey (Purdue University) and Kyle Filipowski (Duke University) are among the top prospects at the position who could be selected in the first round. Alex Sarr, an intentional prospect, is also expected to be picked early.

Nic Claxton of the Brooklyn Nets and Isaiah Hartenstein of the New York Knicks appear to be some of the most appealing potential options in free agency.

Not only do the Lakers hold the No. 17 overall pick in the draft, but they also have the No. 55 overall pick, which will come in the second round. It has been reported that they may be looking to use that latter pick to select Bronny James.

Though a desire for a center may be important, it would seem to be farther down the Lakers’ list of important priorities this offseason. After being spurned by Dan Hurley, they are still in need of a head coach to replace Darvin Ham, who was fired after a first-round loss to the Denver Nuggets in the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

LeBron James’ future also remains unsecured at this moment as the superstar holds a player option in his contract for the 2024-25 season. However, the Lakers reportedly are operating as if the 39-year-old will return.

This past season, Davis was able to appear in an NBA career-high 76 regular-season games, averaging 24.7 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest. Despite his increased availability, the Lakers still struggled somewhat during the regular season, fashioning a 47-35 record that landed them in the play-in round for a second consecutive year.

As they did in the 2022-23 season, they reached the playoffs, but unlike advancing to the 2023 Western Conference Finals, they were quickly dispatched by the Nuggets this time around.

Because of that, the Lakers certainly will be looking for ways to improve for the 2024-25 campaign, and adding a center to take some of the burden off of Davis could become one of those solutions.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.