The Lakers are still winless after losing to the Timberwolves on Friday night to drop to 0-5 for the franchise’s worst start in 65 years. Much of the blame for L.A.’s struggles has fallen on Russell Westbrook, who has proven to be a disastrous fit since the Lakers traded for him last August.
But former NBA player Channing Frye thinks another Lakers star — Anthony Davis — has been the real problem.
“This is not about LeBron [James],” Frye, a former teammate of James’, said on the ‘Road Trippin’ podcast. “This is not about Russ. This is about A.D. This is 92 percent about A.D.
“He’s the youngest. He has the ability to play three different positions. … A.D., for the last two or three years, might be the worst jump shooter in the NBA.”
More specifically, the eight-time All-Star has struggled tremendously from beyond the arc, shooting 26 percent from the 3-point line in 2020-21, 19 percent last season and 18 percent through the first four games this year. Davis has also logged the lowest eFG percentage in the league since the start of the 2020-21 season among 178 players who have attempted at least 500 jump shots, per ESPN analyst Kirk Goldsberry.
The 29-year-old also been plagued by injuries during that span, playing just 80 games spread across the last two-plus seasons.
“A.D. won a championship, give him kudos,” Frye continued. “After that championship, he has not shown any traits that he can replicate that [elite level of play].”
The Lakers acquired Davis in 2019, unloading Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, three first-round picks and a pick swap for the then-Pelicans star. Just over a year later, L.A. won the championship in the Orlando bubble.
But things have spiraled quickly since.
Last season, the Lakers won just 33 games and missed the playoffs. So far this year, they’ve yet to win a game — a proposition that won’t get any easier with games against the Nuggets and Pelicans coming next.
The Lakers reportedly tried to move Westbrook in the offseason but a deal never materialized.
But Westbrook — who is averaging just 12.3 points on 31 percent shooting, including an abysmal 13 percent from beyond the 3-point line, and has been relegated to a bench role — isn’t the only one who L.A. should consider unloading, according to Frye.
“Other than LeBron, everyone is on the block,” Frye said. “It’s just the honest truth. … Take Bron and A.D. off the team, and just put Russ on that team. How many games does this team win? 30? This is a awful team.”
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