LeBron, AD to make Lakers preseason debuts vs. Suns
LeBron James and Anthony Davis will make their preseason debuts on Wednesday when the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers meet the Phoenix Suns.
James and Davis sat out the Lakers’ first two preseason games and will take the court for the first time since Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Oct. 11 when the Lakers finished off the Miami Heat to claim the NBA title.
“I do plan on playing AD and LeBron some first-half minutes, but just to kind of get their feet wet,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “I just want to see them go out and try to get a rhythm.”
The Lakers are 2-0 in the preseason.
Both stars inked extensions in the offseason. James signed a two-year $85 million extension while AD signed on with a five-year, $190 million deal. Davis, acquired in July 2019 from the New Orleans Pelicans, opted out of the final year of his contract — worth $28.7 million — to become a free agent in the days after the Lakers won the NBA championship in Orlando.
Davis was 10th in the NBA in scoring at 26.1 points per game and averaged 9.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 2019-20 with the Lakers. With the Pelicans in 2018-19, he averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.
James, who turns 36 on Dec. 30, averaged 25.3 points, an NBA-leading 10.2 assists and 7.8 rebounds in 67 games last season. The 16-time All-Star and four-time Most Valuable Player won his fourth NBA championship, earning Finals MVP honors against the Miami Heat.
The Lakers open their title defense on Dec. 22 against the Dallas Mavericks.