When the Los Angeles Lakers made the blockbuster trade that landed them Anthony Davis over the summer, it was always understood that Davis would not sign a contract extension with any team that traded for him so that he could hit the open market when his contract was up. While the Lakers were always his preferred destination, Davis wanted to become a free agent in order to be eligible to get the biggest contract possible.
Still, you can't blame the Lakers for trying to work out a contract with the three-time All-Defensive player before he becomes a free agent. On Tuesday afternoon, the Lakers offered Davis a four-year, $146 million max contract extension, as reported by Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. However, Davis, who has a $28.7 million player option for next season, is expected to decline to become a free agent this summer.
Rich Paul, Davis' agent, reportedly notified the Lakers' front office with the news after shootaround ahead of Tuesday night's game against the New York Knicks. Haynes reports that "no one within league circles" expects Davis to sign elsewhere this summer, and instead this was an opportunity for Davis to make more money. Now that he will become an unrestricted free agent in July, the Lakers can offer him a five-year, $202 million contract in the offseason.
Since being traded to the Lakers Davis has been having a dominant season. He's averaging 27.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.6 blocks per game on a title-contending Los Angeles squad that has the best record (29-7) in the Western Conference. Davis has dealt with bumps and bruises throughout the course of this season, but when he's on the floor he's oftentimes been the Lakers best player.