Within days of trading for Anthony Davis, the Lakers had a sense of confidence that he would stick around. Despite not having him under contract until the following season, general manager Rob Pelinka said how excited he was to have Davis as “a pillar of this franchise for many years.”
It’s never been overly doubtful that Davis’s future was tied to Los Angeles. The question has always been: when would he finally re-sign, and for how long?
A wait of nearly two weeks was finally settled Thursday, when Davis agreed to a five-year max deal, first reported by ESPN. His new contract with the Lakers is estimated at $ 32.7 million next year and $ 190 million over the life of the deal. The final year is a player option for the 2024-25 season.
Just a month and a half away from their 2020 title, the Lakers now have their biggest stars, Davis and LeBron James, under contract and the creation of a potential dynasty through 2023 and possibly beyond.
Davis, 27, was the star the Lakers needed to plunge into the championship last season. He averaged 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks on his way to first-team All-NBA honors for the fourth time. His postseason was even better, as Davis averaged 27.7 points and shot better than 57% from the field and 38% from three while anchoring the Lakers’ defense.
Winning was Davis’s top goal when he landed in LA in July 2019 via a blockbuster deal, with the Lakers giving up a squad of their young players and getting him in Lakers purple and gold. The Chicago resident’s rapport with James – with whom he shares an agent, Rich Paul – helped him dock in Los Angeles.
James announced a two-year extension until 2023 on Wednesday morning, a day before his teammate shut down his long-term future. Davis described the relationship between him and James as “true friendship.”
“There is no jealousy: no one is jealous of each other,” Davis said in October. ‘Boys don’t have a personal agenda. We’re just two guys who just want to win for different reasons. ”
While he didn’t want to talk about his future with the Lakers last season, Davis himself slipped into the championship euphoria when he said how great his ‘first’ year with the Lakers had been after winning the title. The playoff appearance was the Lakers’ first since 2013.
The Lakers have already drastically revised and added the supporting cast of James and Davis since winning the championship Dennis Schrӧder through tradeand then sign Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews and Marc Gasol in free agency. They have also redrawn Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Markieff Morris and Jared Dudley of last year’s title run.
Davis himself has received input through Pelinka about the form and direction of the team, which he praised in October before meeting him at the negotiating table.
“His willingness to talk to me and ‘Bron and Coach (Frank) Vogel about decisions and everything we talk about, he gets us involved in a lot of things,” he said. “And I think that’s what a GM, an executive should do: involve his two best guys and his head coach.”
The contract is the longest contract Davis could have signed with the Lakers, which is a reflection of how steady he has been in LA after playing seven seasons in New Orleans. ESPN reported that Davis was considering short-term deals, including deals that could have maximized his income when he qualified (10-year veterans can earn 35% of the salary cap).
Still, the Lakers will be shooting a lot for their stars in the coming seasons. In the 2022-23 season, James and Davis will cost more than $ 82 million together. The Lakers will also have limited design capital for the next few years, with no first round picks in 2021 and 2023 with a potential pick swap in 2024 after trading to the Pelicans.
The Lakers expect to squeeze the peak years out of a player who has averaged no less than 20 points and 9 rebounds per game for seven consecutive seasons. Davis turns 32 in the last year of the deal.