Report: Anthony Davis plans to decline player option, re-sign with Lakers

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Anthony Davis, who holds a $28,751,774 player option, said he had no idea about free agency.

But everyone knew Davis – on the big-market team he always wanted to join, represented by LeBron James‘ agent (Rich Paul), coming off a championship – would stay with the Lakers.

We’re starting to see the mechanics of how.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Davis plans to opt out of his $28.7 million player option and re-sign with the Lakers, sources tell The Athletic.

Davis can name his price. His max salary will be less than his player-option amount only if the salary cap falls below $95,839,247. That seems highly unlikely.

The big question: How long will Davis sign for?

He could re-sign for up to five years. That’d be the simplest path to long-term security.

But he might favor a shorter deal for several reasons:

  • He’s a 27-year-old superstar. Davis will command max contracts for the foreseeable future. He can maintain flexibility with minimal risk (though not no risk).
  • Max starting salaries are based on league-wide revenue, and raises in a multi-year contract are capped at 8% a first-year salary. NBA revenue is way down due to issues including the coronavirus pandemic and fallout in China from Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters. Even if he wants to stay in Los Angeles long-term, Davis might be better served locking into a multi-year deal once revenue rises.
  • LeBron can become an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and has shown a willingness to jump from team to team. The Lakers depleted their assets to pair LeBron and Davis. Davis might not want to get stuck with a lacking supporting cast if LeBron leaves.