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    Lakers feeling ‘good’ about health of LeBron James, Anthony Davis
    • July 10, 2023

    LAS VEGAS — The Lakers accomplished most of their goals this offseason – they’re still looking to add another center – but they feel good about the moves they made.

    However, none of their draft or free agency moves will be as impactful as the improved health of stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, both of whom dealt with and played through foot injuries last season.

    While speaking with reporters at the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka provided optimism that James and Davis will move past the injuries.

    “We feel good about the offseason and the treatment that A.D. and LeBron are getting,” Pelinka said. “All the reports have been good around both those injuries, in terms of the guys being able to move past them.”

    James missed 13 consecutive games from Feb. 28-March 24 because of a torn tendon in his right foot.

    He played in the final eight games of the regular season and all 16 playoff games, leading the Lakers to the Western Conference finals, but he was clearly limited physically.

    The four-time league MVP cryptically hinted at considering retirement in the aftermath of the Lakers being swept by the Denver Nuggets in the conference finals. He also told ESPN after that game that he planned to get an MRI on his foot and could undergo surgery in the summer to correct the injury.

    James, who will be playing his 21st season this fall and will turn 39 on Dec. 30, is entering the first season of a two-year, $99 million contract extension he signed with the Lakers last summer. He has a player option for 2024-25.

    “We’ve said before, we want to let LeBron speak about his plans and his future for himself,” Pelinka said. “It’s been great interacting with him over the offseason. And I’ve loved seeing him coach his son [Bryce] down at the Peach Jam. That’s what the offseason is for – time to dive into family. It looks like he’s really enjoying that.”

    James posted a series of pictures of the players the Lakers re-signed or signed after free agency started on his Instagram story earlier in July.

    “It was also nice to just see him celebrate the roster, once we completed it,” Pelinka said. “A series of Instagram posts and different things, celebrating his teammates. And that’s just the leader LeBron is. He knows how to galvanize a group and bring them together and we’re just excited that he’s behind that.”

    Davis missed 20 consecutive games from Dec. 18-Jan. 24 because of a bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot.

    The 11-year veteran appeared in 31 of the final 34 regular-season games – he didn’t play both nights of most back-to-backs after his return – and played in every playoff game.

    Davis, 30, will be eligible to sign a three-year, $167 million contract extension starting Aug. 4.

    He has two seasons remaining on the five-year, $189.9 deal he signed with the Lakers in December 2020. He has an early termination option for his $43.21 salary for 2024-25 – the last year of his deal.

    Pelinka declined to speak about the Lakers’ extension plans for Davis, citing the collective bargaining agreement.

    “I wish the CBA allowed us to talk about negotiations before they’re allowed, but [there are] pretty strict rules around that,” Pelinka said. “So can’t really talk about contracts and negotiations, but couldn’t think more highly of Anthony Davis as a Laker and as a player. He’s helped deliver a championship to our franchise. He’s been an incredible captain and leader. We saw last year, willing to play through a hard foot injury to get our team to the Western Conference finals. So, just love having him as a part of our team.”

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    ​ Orange County Register