NBA Rumor: Anthony Davis Extension

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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 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.
2 years ago via ESPN

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.
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January 18, 2021 | 5:29 pm EST Update