The Los Angeles Lakers are in somewhat of an awkward spot when it comes to roster building. Not only do they have little to offer teams in potential trades, but LeBron James, who will turn 38 this calendar year, became eligible for a contract extension on Aug. 5 and hasn't signed anything yet.
It should be noted that James has between now and June 30 of next year to sign an extension if he wants, but if a deal doesn't get done before the 2022-23 season begins, speculation of his potential departure in free agency will be a distraction and hover over the Lakers' season.
What has to happen to convince James to sign another deal with the Lakers? A trade for Kyrie Irving? Sacrificing their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks? If James can't be persuaded to stay in L.A., one Western Conference executive believes the Lakers would be interested in gauging Anthony Davis' trade value.
“A lot of that depends on where LeBron winds up. If he stays in Los Angeles and he stays a Laker, he had a lot personally invested in AD being there so, yes, in that case, Davis stays. But it is not a sure thing. There are some in that organization who would not mind seeing what they can bring back for AD, but they would not do it with LeBron there. You get to 2024, though, and maybe things change.
"The Lakers have AD for two more years for sure, and they can only hope he stays healthy. But after that, they have to think, is this guy really our future? He can’t stay on the floor. And he has to think, do I want to be here without LeBron? That’s why the Lakers do not want to give up those future picks,” the executive told Heavy.com.
If or when the Lakers ever get to that point, should the Dallas Mavericks be interested in making an offer for Davis?
Luka Doncic's Mavs Need 'Jrue Holiday Type Trade' Soon?
The Milwaukee Bucks emerged as NBA champions after trading for Jrue Holiday. Can the Dallas Mavericks pull off a similar move?
Dallas Mavericks Coach Jason Kidd Confirms Christian Wood as 6th Man
Acquiring Christian Wood was the Dallas Mavericks’ biggest move over the offseason. However, head coach Jason Kidd says Wood will start the 2022-23 season by coming off the bench.
Mavs' Finney-Smith Not Being in NBA Top 100 is 'Major Oversight'
Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith wasn't in ESPN's latest rankings of the top 100 NBA players.
Given Davis' talent, you'd think the answer would be a resounding "yes," but it's a little trickier than that due to the $124 million he's owed over the next three years paired with the fact that he can't stay healthy.
Ever since having a stellar 2019-20 season that ended with the Lakers winning the championship in the Orlando Bubble, Davis has followed that high point by averaging 22.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. Those number sound like something any team in the league would want. The problem, though, is that Davis has missed 78 games over that two-year span.
As much as the Mavs would love to pair another superstar-level player next to Luka Doncic, they've already been down the "damaged goods" path with Kristaps Porzingis, who was traded to the Washington Wizards in February for Spencer Dinwiddie and Dāvis Bertans.
We recently wrote about how the Mavs should roll the dice on a trade with Brooklyn for Irving. Although that move is also risky, at least Irving is on an expiring contract. When it comes to Davis, though, the idea of what he could be might be greater than the reality of what he is at this point.
You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Mavericks? Click Here.
Follow DallasBasketball.com on Twitter.