Fresh off the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2011 (when they were known as the Hornets), the Pelicans will soon be faced with the prospect of locking up Anthony Davis long-term. To the surprise of absolutely no one, they plan on offering Davis the most money and years possible at the earliest moment they can: just past midnight on July 1.
From ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
With star forward Anthony Davis eligible for a contract extension this summer, Pelicans officials plan to be aggressive as possible in presenting him with a maximum five-year deal that could approach $140 million, according to league sources.
The exact figures will depend on how much the NBA salary cap deal actually rises, but sources told ESPN.com that the Pelicans indeed intend to present Davis with the biggest offer they can once the window for negotiations opens July 1.
The Pelicans would then have until Oct. 31 to convince Davis to sign a five-year deal that makes him their Designated Player.
Offering Davis this extension is a no-brainer. He’s 22 and already an MVP candidate and arguably one of the five best players in the world. And with the salary cap jumping as much as it is in 2016, Davis would be hard-pressed to turn down this much guaranteed money. Some rookie-scale extensions go down to the October 31 deadline, but the most high-profile ones, maximum extensions for face-of-the-franchise type guys, tend to get done quickly. Kyrie Irving committed to a maximum extension on the first night of free agency last year, and deals for Kevin Durant (2010), Blake Griffin (2012) and John Wall (2013) were done early on in free agency. Don’t be surprised to see the Blazers lock Damian Lillard up to a similar extension as early as possible.