Anthony Davis’s Future in LA

by Tal Breiman

AD can make moves to maximize his earnings

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Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis can opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The 27-year-old big man posted stellar regular season averages of 26.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.2 AST, 2.3 BLK, and 1.5 STL on 50.3% shooting from the field and 33.0% from three-point range this year. He also earned all-star, first-team all NBA, and first-team all-defense honors. The Lakers are fresh off a championship run where Anthony Davis shined. This ring adds to Anthony Davis’s value, especially since many view him as the best big man in basketball. With youth, elite production, and a championship under his belt, few can argue that Davis does not deserve a max contract. This offseason, Anthony Davis could make significant off-season moves with the Lakers to capitalize on a supermax deal in the future.

With a strong team by his side, Anthony Davis should refrain from exploring free agency if he desires to win more championships in the future. LeBron James played some of the best basketball in his career despite being 35 years old. The two show great chemistry on and off the court and serve as arguably the best duo in the NBA. Role players like Dwight Howard, Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo and fan-favorite Alex Caruso supported their superstars well and helped fuel a championship run. With a great chance of competing for championships in the next couple of years, Davis cannot find a better opportunity elsewhere.

Davis could forgo free agency and opt into the final year of his five year, $127 million contract. This seems unlikely, since Davis can opt out of his current contract and resign with the Lakers for more money.

Most likely, Anthony Davis will sign a new contract with the Lakers during the offseason. In early January, Davis rejected a four year, $146 million extension in pursuit of a more lucrative deal this offseason. Experts project that he will sign a “2+1” deal. This contract will offer Davis $112.8 million dollars over three years, with the option to become a free agent in 2022. Signing a deal in free agency would allow him to earn $34.8 million dollars for the 2020-2021 season. This contract would grant him $6 million more dollars than in the first year of an extension, and Davis would also become a free agent sooner. Two years from now, Anthony Davis will be at the peak of his prime at 29 years old, while Lebron may find himself on the brink of retirement at 37 years old. The supporting cast may also weaken, since Rondo, Dwight Howard, and Danny Green will enter their mid thirties. If the team cannot continue to compete for championships, Anthony Davis could enter free agency at the peak of his career rather than squandering his championship winning opportunities on an aging team.

The “2+1” deal could provide Anthony Davis a serious monetary advantage. Currently, Anthony Davis has played eight years in the league, and another 2 years will make it 10. Players with 10 years of service in the NBA can sign max contracts worth 35% of the salary cap, 5% more than max contracts for NBA players with less than 10 years in the league. In 2022, the Lakers could offer a staggering five year, $266 million dollar contract. This would be the largest deal in NBA history. Davis may find a better team that offseason, he may find it difficult to pass up that kind of money. Most likely, Davis could earn over $300 million dollars within the prime years of his career.

Anthony Davis can capitalize on an opportunity to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in his prime years. Us Celtics fans may unfortunately see Davis compete for titles in LA for many years to come. With smart management, Davis can enjoy a legendary career in purple and gold while growing his wealth exponentially, even though he would look better in Celtics’ green.