Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

Los Angeles Lakers have been pushing for the 18th title since last season. However, they did not start as well as expected. The LA side lost several games and won very few in the first half of the season. But things changed after the front office made some crucial changes back in February. The newly found balance helped the team gain momentum and finally make the postseason. The Lakers also shocked everybody by reaching the Western Conference Finals. Hence, Rob Pelinka, the Lakers GM, believe the same core can help them win the title next year.

It was a tricky situation as almost all the players were heading toward free agency. Despite that, the Lakers performed the best on the opening day of free agency as they re-signed and acquired quality players. Moreover, the front office continued their brilliant moves to increase strength in their roster for the next season. At the beginning of the offseason, three key players and new fan favorites – Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell were free agents. However, Rob Pelinka ensured they stayed, extending their contracts with multi-year deals. And now, his top priority is to find a solid center who can be a backup for Anthony Davis.


Who Can The Lakers Sign As A Backup For Anthony Davis?

Anthony Davis AD- Lakers
Anthony Davis AD Lakers Source: Basketball Network

Looks like the Lakers have managed to gain balance in their roster for the upcoming season. They can easily push for the championship next season with their roster power. However, it seems like the team can do better with increasing strength at the center. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Anthony Davis will, as usual, spearhead the side from the center, but as his backup, they need a new big man. Clearly, Davis is very injury-prone, and it is doubtful that he can play more than 70 games next season. In the last two seasons, he has missed over 50 games. The Lakers currently don’t have many backups for AD, except the 23-year-old Jaxson Hayes.

However, in 13 minutes, Hayes has an average of five points. Hence, it is not enough to support the team as a backup for Anthony Davis. However, even after some high activity in the offseason and in free agency, the Lakers still have $8.2 million remaining on their hard cap. Moreover, Los Angeles Lakers had their eyes on the city’s rival free agent, center Mason Plumlee. However, he is a little expensive, as he is worth $9 million in the 2022-23 season. The veteran center is exceptional at shooting 73% from the floor and grabbing 6.9 rebounds in 20 minutes in almost every game.

Mason Plumlee Returns To The Clippers

Mason Plumlee Los Angeles Clippers
Mason Plumlee Clippers Source: Clipperholics

Other than Mason Plumlee, the Lakers can always bring back Mo Bamba. Although, the Lakers could get into a fierce contest with the Golden State Warriors to acquire Plumlee because they need a quality center too. Whoever would get him would have an extra advantage with bench strength in the Western Conference. Other than Plumlee and Bamba, the viable options for the Lakers are Javale McGee and Christian Wood.

But as per as agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports informs ESPN, the bad news for the 17-time champions. It is Mason Plumlee who signed a one-year deal worth $5 million to return to the Clippers. Moreover, Russell Westbrook re-signed with Los Angeles Clippers as well for $8 million with a two-year contract. Hence, the Laker’s Front office has a task in hand to find a suitable backup for Anthony Davis from elsewhere.