Report: Lakers may have fired Darvin Ham partly because they feared idea of Anthony Davis requesting trade

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Amick of The Athletic is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers may have decided to let go of head coach Darvin Ham in part because they were concerned about the prospect of star big man Anthony Davis requesting a trade.

“When they chose to fire Darvin Ham, I was told that one of the many, many considerations was that it was pretty evident that A.D. was not on board anymore with Darvin and they know, like everybody else, that A.D. has a history of having asked for trades in the past,” Amick said. “That’s how he got to the Lakers from New Orleans. Last thing they wanted was for A.D. to be frustrated with the situation and maybe have those types of thoughts cross his mind.”

Davis has dealt with poor injury luck throughout his NBA career, but he was able to stay on the floor for the Lakers for the lion’s share of the 2023-24 regular season. Impressively, after appearing in 60-plus games just once during his first four seasons with the storied franchise, he played in 76 of Los Angeles’ 82 games this time around.

In his fifth season in Los Angeles, Davis averaged 24.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.3 blocks per contest while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor and 81.6 percent from the charity stripe.

While the Lakers weren’t able to make their second deep playoff run in a row, falling instead to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, Davis wasn’t to blame for the team’s first-round exit.

He was debatably the team’s best player against Denver, considering he tied LeBron James for the highest scoring average on the team (27.8 points per contest) while also pulling down a whopping 15.6 rebounds per game. He grabbed 11 rebounds or more in every game of the series, including 23 in a Game 4 victory.

It makes sense that the Lakers would want to hold onto Davis, especially considering that the team could be in jeopardy of losing another one of its top players in James, who has a player option on his contract for the upcoming 2024-25 season.

His future with the squad is somewhat up in the air at this time. While the Lakers are reportedly operating as if James will remain in Los Angeles, the 39-year-old still could hit unrestricted free agency this summer should he decline his player option.

Lakers fans are surely hoping that James will finish out his NBA career playing alongside Davis in Los Angeles, though it remains to be seen if that hope will come to fruition.

Share This Article
Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.