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Report: Even after DeMarcus Cousins’ injury, Lakers don’t plan to use Anthony Davis ‘big minutes’ at center

Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Anthony Davis - Press Conference

EL SEGUNDO, CA - JULY 13: General Manager Rob Pelinka and Head Coach, Frank Vogel introduce Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers to the media during a press conference on July 13, 2019 at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Anthony Davis made very clear he prefers not to play center.

That was tolerable when the Lakers had DeMarcus Cousins and JaVale McGee. Davis said he was fine playing the position sometimes, too.

But Cousins tore his ACL, an injury that could sideline him all season.

What’s in store for Davis now?

Jared Greenberg of NBA TV:

There are plenty of reasons this makes sense: Davis takes less of a pounding at power forward, and it’s important to keep him healthy. The Lakers want to keep Davis – who’ll become an unrestricted free agent next summer – happy. They also want to project that they take care of their stars, which could appeal to future targets.

There’s also one huge reason this doesn’t make sense: Davis is best at center.

He’s big enough to excel there. His athleticism and skills become even bigger weapons. On this roster, Davis playing center also allows the Lakers to deploy more of their most talented players around him.

Davis will certainly play some center. That would’ve been true whether or not Cousins got hurt. The definition of “big minutes” is in the eye of the beholder. This Lakers source’s definition might not match yours or mine.

But if the Lakers are truly committed to keeping Davis away from center, they must sign another center or two. They have one open regular-season roster spot, and if Cousins isn’t returning, they could waive him and eat his salary to open another.