LeBron James could be the reason Anthony Davis doesn’t re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Ric Bucher.
There is plenty of optimism around the Lakers heading into the new season after acquiring Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Dwight Howard, Danny Green, Quinn Cook, Jared Dudley and Avery Bradley have also been drafted in to strengthen the core of the group in a huge roster revamp.
And they get their pre-season underway this evening when they face off against the Golden State Warriors, with both Davis and James expected to play some minutes.
But Bleacher Report’s Bucher suggests there could be trouble between James and Davis if things don’t go to plan for the Lakers this upcoming season.
Bucher reckons Davis will be all too aware of his illustrious team-mate’s aura and that it may lead to him leaving in free agency next year.
“He is not fully committed to the Lakers,” Bucher said on Scal and Pals.
“He and Rich Paul have said, ‘when we get to next summer, we’re going to explore free agency’.
“He wants to see how this season goes because he knows, as every other guy knows, that when you play with LeBron James if you win, it’s because you’re playing with LeBron James.
“If you lose or you fail to reach your target, it’s because of you.
“Jeanie Buss is going to get blame before LeBron James gets blame if the Lakers don’t succeed and meet expectations this year.
“If you are a star of Paul George’s magnitude or Kawhi Leonard’s magnitude, you feel you’re on LeBron’s level.
“You don’t want to be the No 2 who then, if things don’t go right, you end up holding the bag.
“Why do that? You want to be the No 1 guy and you want to be able to create your universe.
“You don’t get to do that with LeBron and it’s not LeBron’s fault, it’s just the magnitude of his success and the magnitude of his stardom that no matter who you are, if you play with LeBron then you’re going to be the second banana.
“With the way LeBron is beholden by a vast majority of the media, if things don’t go well, it’s going to be because LeBron didn’t have enough help.
“That’s what guys don’t want to sign up for and while I haven’t talked to Paul George about that, I’ve heard it from enough other players that that is a factor.”