• Jared Dudley is certain Anthony Davis will replace LeBron James as the team's leader next season
  • James is leaving the crucial decision-making to the Lakers' front office
  • Lakers GM will still include "King James" and "AD" in the team's roster-building

A Los Angeles Lakers veteran forward has suggested that a shocking turnaround is set to happen in the team’s approach next season.

The Lakers suffered an unfortunate first-round elimination this season, and the organization is expected to immediately address several issues.

Among the biggest concerns so far is would LeBron James still be spearheading the Lakers team, having approached the twilight years of his career.

Speaking to Lakers media during his exit interview, Jared Dudley made a bold statement regarding who is going to be the leader of the group from this point on.

According to Dudley, while James will still be an important player in the team, it is Anthony Davis who is going to be the main guy.

“We salute him [James],” Dudley said. “People say he’s slowing down, and it’s natural to slow down a little bit. That’s why you have Anthony Davis.”

“That’s where he [Davis] has to take the torch, and that’s where he will take the torch next year,” he stressed.

James, on the other hand, chose not to touch the subject. Instead, the four-time NBA MVP insisted that he is confident about the decision-making of the Lakers’ higher-ups.

“I think Rob [Pelinka] has done such a good job of constructing this team over the last few years, and he will continue to do that,” James explained. “I will have some input, he always asks for my input, has AD’s input, but at the end of the day we want to continue to get better.”

“I trust Rob, I trust Kurt [Rambis], I trust everyone upstairs that does their diligence and our coaching staff,” he added.

LeBron James reacts as the Los Angeles Lakers slump to a 115-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday
LeBron James reacts as the Los Angeles Lakers slump to a 115-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Christian Petersen

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, meanwhile, assured that Davis, as well as James, will still be part of the team’s “roster-building” this offseason.

“I think when it comes to roster building, you guys know we’ve been very collaborative,” Pelinka said in his exit interview last week. “Anthony Davis and LeBron James are championship pillars of this franchise for years to come and of course they’re going to be involved in how we build our roster and how we have built our roster. [They are] both great basketball minds and Frank [Vogel] as well.”

“I think the cohesiveness in making these decisions between your star players, your head coach, and the front office is really important and that will continue to be our process going forward,” the executive pointed out.