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Anthony Davis willing to put LA Lakers roster 'up against anybody'

Saturday 13 July 2019 22:42, UK

Anthony Davis speaks as he is introduced as the newest player of the Los Angeles Lakers
Image: Anthony Davis speaks as he is introduced as the newest player of the Los Angeles Lakers

Anthony Davis believes the Los Angeles Lakers are the team to beat in the NBA.

The Lakers agreed a deal on June 15 to pair Davis with LeBron James, sending Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the six-time All Star.

Former All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins signed a one-year deal with the Lakers last week, while the team also brought back point guard Rajon Rondo as they put more pieces of their revamped roster into place.

Anthony Davis (L) talks with LeBron James
Image: Anthony Davis (left) talks with LeBron James

The pairing of Davis and James comes at an intriguing time in the NBA, with numerous superstar duos coming together around the league.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have both joined the Los Angeles Lakers, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving chose to move to the Brooklyn Nets, while Russell Westbrook and James Harden have now teamed up in Cleveland.

Davis is not worried about the competition, however.

"I'll put our roster up against anybody," Davis said, as he addressed the media for the first time as a member of the Lakers. "In a seven-game series, I think we'll come out victorious."

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka looks on as Anthony Davis answers a question
Image: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka looks on as Anthony Davis answers a question

General manager Rob Pelinka called the acquisition of Davis a "history-shifting" moment for the franchise.

"There is no more complete basketball player in the game," he said. "There is nothing he can't do. He can shoot. He can make plays. He can defend 1-5. He can protect the rim. He can handle the ball. His dedication to his craft is unparalleled."

Davis discussed his role with the Lakers and said he would play center if the team needed him to, but that was not his first choice.

"I like playing the four. I'm not even going to sugarcoat it," Davis told reporters before looking to Frank Vogel, the Lakers' first-year coach. "If it come down to it, coach, and you need me to play the five, I'll play the five."

When asked whether he intended to take games off during the season to rest, he made it clear that also wasn't his first choice.

"I'm playing. I'm 26 years old," he said. "I love the game of basketball. I'm ready to play."

Davis averaged 25.9 points and 12.0 rebounds per game in 56 games with the Pelicans last season.