Anthony Davis will be the best free agent next summer. He’ll probably be the only superstar free agent. Heck, he might be the only star free agent.
This is a risk the Lakers took in trading for him.
Davis wanted to join the Lakers. He even hiring agent Rich Paul, who also represents LeBron James, to steer him to Los Angeles. The Lakers could be more assured than any other team that Davis would re-sign.
But a contract extension is untenable. Davis will play out the season then hit unrestricted free agency, where he’ll have no shortage of teams highly coveting him. There’s no way around that.
Will Davis stay long-term with the Lakers?
“When that time comes around next year, then you can ask me that question and we’ll revisit it,” he said. “Right now, my focus is on this year, and trying to figure out how I can help this team, and help the organization, become a championship team.”
This sounds a little like Kyrie Irving‘s “Ask me July 1,” which preceded him exiting Boston. But Irving’s statement was notable only because he’d already pledged to re-sign with the Celtics. He was backtracking.
Davis is remaining consistent.
He wanted to join the Lakers. He wants to become a free agent next summer.
It seems highly likely he’ll re-sign.
Still, there are opportunities for this plan to unravel. Davis moves from small-market New Orleans to Los Angeles – a huge change. Being teammates with LeBron is unlike anything else in the NBA, for better or worse. The Lakers have seen firsthand the danger of acquiring a star center on an expiring contract with Dwight Howard.
Though he won’t know whether he gets what he bargained for until experiencing the season, Davis signed up for all this. There’s no better indicator he’ll re-sign than that.