Los Angeles Lakers fans can breathe a sigh of relief. After helping lead the franchise to their first NBA title in a decade, All-Star big man Anthony Davis is expected to turn down his player option for next season and re-sign with the Lakers in free agency over the offseason, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Davis has a player option worth $28.7 million for the 2020-21 season that he will walk away from in favor of a fresh deal.
Davis plans to opt out of his $28.7 million player option and re-sign with the Lakers, sources tell The Athletic. Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, will hold meetings in the coming weeks to discuss the situation and the contract term that is most sensible for Davis.
When it comes to signing a new deal, Davis will have options in terms of length. He could sign a two-year deal with a player option for the second season, a three-year deal with a player option for the third season or a four-year deal with a player option for the fourth season. When it comes to the length of the contract, it will be up to Davis to decide how long he wants to commit to L.A., and how quickly he wants to be a free agent again. Of course, he can always opt to sign with the Lakers again when the next deal finishes, too, if he so chooses. Obviously the longer that Davis signs for, the more guaranteed money he would be in line to make, which might be a wise move given the uncertainty of the league's salary cap moving forward due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the league's bottom line.
Davis, 27, never sniffed the NBA Finals during his seven seasons with the Pelicans in New Orleans. So, given the fact the Lakers won a title during his first season in L.A., it's not especially surprising that Davis is interested in staying with the franchise, even though he was non-committal immediately after the Lakers hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy in Orlando.
"I have no idea." Davis said when asked about his impending free agency, "I had a great time in L.A. this year. It's been nothing but joy and amazement. Over the next couple of months, we'll figure it out. I'm not 100 percent sure."
A major factor in Davis' decision to remain in L.A. is the friendship that he has developed with LeBron James. Davis and James have built a strong bond both on and off of the court, and that relationship clearly translates to on-court success. James may be 35 years old, but he's still near the peak of his powers as a player, and Davis may very well want to maximize the time that he has to play alongside -- and chase more championship rings -- with LeBron. James even reportedly told Davis that the duo has more work to do following their win in the Finals over the Miami Heat. James has two more years on his current contract with the Lakers, with the second year being a player option.