Lakers' Anthony Davis Officially Eligible for 4-Year, $146M Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) looks to pass the ball during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 142-125. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers power forward Anthony Davis is eligible to sign a four-year, $146 million contract extension, as six months have passed since he waived his trade bonus to complete a blockbuster move from the New Orleans Pelicans to L.A.

ESPN's Bobby Marks reported the update Tuesday and noted Davis can also wait to opt out of his five-year, $127.2 million contract after the 2019-20 NBA season to sign a five-year, $202 million deal.

The 26-year-old Chicago native is enjoying a terrific first season with the Lakers. He's averaged 27.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals in 34 appearances. He ranks fourth among qualifiers in player efficiency rating, per ESPN.

While his individual success didn't always lead to wins in New Orleans, teaming with LeBron James in Los Angeles has pushed the club atop the Western Conference with a 29-7 record.

Davis has been hesitant to commit to the Lakers beyond this season since a player option in his contract could allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. He explained his short-term stance during the team's media day in September.

"I just want to focus on this year," he told reporters. "Coming here, the Lakers definitely welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like this was home. But at the same time, it's about what we can do this year. We have a special team, special unit, special coaching staff and we're going to do whatever we can to focus on this year and try to come out victorious."

He'd be the unquestioned top player on the 2020 free-agent market, but it's hard to imagine he'd find a better situation than playing in a massive market on a title contender alongside James, who's under contract through the 2020-21 campaign with a player option for additional year.

LeBron has also said he's got no problem with taking a back seat to the superstar power forward.

"If we're not playing through Anthony Davis while he's on the floor, then there's no sense to having him on the floor," the four-time league MVP told reporters before the season. "It's exciting to have such a beautiful young mind and a beautiful player, but also a great leader as well."

Based on Davis' preseason comments, it seems unlikely he'll work to sign an extension in the short term despite being eligible. That's especially true since waiting until the offseason would allow him to command a higher average annual value on the five-year deal ($40.4 million to $36.5 million).

That said, the only significant surprise would be if he leaves the Lakers after just one season.

Related

    Lakers Are Just Better with Caruso on the Court

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    Lakers Are Just Better with Caruso on the Court

    Silver Screen and Roll
    via Silver Screen and Roll

    L.A. Sheriff's Dept. Investigating Potential Leak of Kobe Bryant Crash Pictures

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    L.A. Sheriff's Dept. Investigating Potential Leak of Kobe Bryant Crash Pictures

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Pippen Admits Dunk Contest Judges 'Messed Up'

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Pippen Admits Dunk Contest Judges 'Messed Up'

    Blake Schuster
    via Bleacher Report

    New NBA Draft Big Board 📊

    @Jonwass ranks the top 50 prospects before March Madness

    Los Angeles Lakers logo
    Los Angeles Lakers

    New NBA Draft Big Board 📊

    Jonathan Wasserman
    via Bleacher Report