NBA rumors: Anthony Davis to sign max extension with Lakers

All-NBA forward Anthony Davis is finalizing a five-year, $190 million maximum contract to stay with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, Klutch Sports CEO and founder Rich Paul told ESPN. The deal includes an early termination option prior to the fifth year of the deal in 2024-25, Paul said.

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Davis, a free agent, is expected to sign the contract as soon as Thursday. He considered several short- and long-term contract scenarios before accepting a full five-year, maximum offer, sources said. At 27 years old, Davis is the co-star of the Lakers with LeBron James -- and the centerpiece of the franchise's long-term future. Davis' arrival in a trade with New Orleans to join James elevated the Lakers out of six straight seasons in the draft lottery and hurtled them toward an eventual 2019-20 NBA championship.
The decision was made out of salary-cap implications and because Davis wants to solely focus on this season, sources said. Davis holds a $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season that he is expected to decline in order to hit the open market, sources said.
Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, delivered the news to Lakers’ the front office after the team’s shootaround in preparation for Tuesday night’s game against the New York Knicks, sources said. No one within league circles anticipates Davis leaving the Lakers after one season.
Albert Nahmad: Players who would become eligible for “super-max” next summer if they earn All-NBA honors: - Giannis Antetokounmpo: $5/247M (starting in 2021-22) - Anthony Davis: $5/235M (already eligible this summer; this would only be if he stays w/ NOP w/o extending) (starting in 2020-21)
The New Orleans Pelicans stance has been firm all season long — Anthony Davis will not be traded — and Adrian Wojnarowski reconfirmed that notion last night on ESPN’s NBA Countdown show. “They want to continue to try and improve this team to convince Anthony Davis to stay there,” said Wojnarowski. “Dell Demps, their gm, you know he told me, ‘Listen, we’ve won two of three games since we’ve gotten healthier.’ Niko Mirotic is back, Elfrid Payton, point guard. And he hasn’t had a chance this year to really evaluate their whole group together. They’ve had a lot of injuries; they don’t have a very long window to do that between now and the February 7th trade deadline.”
“Rich Paul, Anthony Davis’ agent, told me that they have not had any real substantial discussions about Anthony’s future in New Orleans with the Pelicans,” said Wojnarowski. “That Anthony’s focus has been on let’s get this team back — they’re two and half games out of eighth place in the West. Let’s try to get the group back into the playoff picture, but there’s no promises about his future beyond the trade deadline. And I think it’s safe to say right now, I think he’ll be there certainly through the trade deadline. New Orleans does not want to trade him.”
Amid all this escalating noise about Davis and his uncertain future – from the LeBron James flattery in his recent ESPN interview to the Friday report that small-market general managers believe his comments qualified as tampering – there’s this revelation that should concern Pelicans ownership and management far more than all the rest. According to a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking, he does not see the extra $87.3 million that New Orleans is expected to offer in a five-year, $239.5 million supermax extension this summer as a factor in his eventual decision.
Davis has consistently said he would like to remain in New Orleans, and he declined to commit either way about the possibility of New Orleans offering him the supermax. "When that time comes, of course we will see," Davis said. "I love my teammates. I love New Orleans. I love the fans. I talk their slang. I love their food."
Certainly they recognize their situation with Davis is tenuous and they feel the pressure. But they absolutely want to get to the summer when they can potentially offer Davis a supermax extension that would potentially pay him $70 million more than he can get anywhere else. If they do have to face the reality of a trade at some point down the line -- a definite possibility if Davis rejects the extension -- they would want to make sure the Celtics are able to make a bid. Not because it's a foregone conclusion that's where Davis would go, but so that it will juice the marketplace.
All signs continue to point to Anthony Davis’s future in New Orleans playing out in the summer. That’s when the Pelicans can offer Davis a contract extension worth well in excess of $200 million — and when they will know, in the dreaded event Davis declines it, that they realistically have to trade him. The long-held belief in this newsletter is that the notion of Davis being traded during this season is folly, mainly because that would likely require Davis himself to go urge the Pelicans to move him. That’s just not his style.
While New Orleans is trying to win enough to convince Davis to stay, the rest of the league is ruminating about what it would take to pry Davis away. Such speculation is happening constantly now, but executives around the league see virtually no chance that Davis is traded before the Pelicans can offer him that super-max extension in July. New Orleans, as it should, will do everything it can to keep Davis -- and will move on from him only if it absolutely has to.
People forget, I think, also, that the Pelicans are the team that next summer can offer you a supermax contract. They could make you the highest-paid player in the NBA. How important is something like that to you? Anthony Davis: It's important, of course. But, like I said, I want to win. But when that time comes, we'll get to that point. My biggest thing is to focus on this year. Help my guys. And like I said, the rest will take care of itself when that time comes.
Bobby Marks: Klutch Sports now has 20 players on NBA contracts headlined by LeBron James, John Wall, Ben Simmons and now Anthony Davis. The first order of business will be next summer navigating a likely 5 year/$235M extension that will be on the table by the Pelicans.
Anthony Davis is on his way to earning All-NBA honors this season, an accomplishment that would make him super max eligible in the summer of 2019. Based on earning All-NBA in 2016-17 and likely 2017-18 (two out of the previous three seasons), Davis would be eligible to sign a five-year $230M extension with a starting salary of $39.7M in July 2019.
How does it feel to have your contract settled and the security of knowing where you’re going to be? Anthony Davis: It feels real good. I knew I was going back to New Orleans. I love the city, love what the team is doing and I have faith in the coaching staff and my teammates. It was an easy decision for me.
New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward Anthony Davis has reached agreement on a maximum five-year extension that could be worth in excess of $145 million, a league source told Yahoo Sports.
Timing is everything, and it's about to work out quite well for Anthony Davis. The New Orleans Pelicans are prepared to offer their All-Star big man a five-year, $143 million extension -- one that Davis should take, thus foregoing restricted free agency in 2016.
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“As the league evolves, you have to be able to evolve with it if you wanna be able to keep up with the times, keep up with the Joneses, or the Jameses in my case,” James said, laughing. “For me, [it’s] just never putting a cap on myself. I just want to always continue to get better and do things out on the floor that maybe hasn’t been done in other people’s careers and continue to push the envelope and see how much juice I can squeeze out of the lemon.”