This was expected, but now it is official:
Yahoo Sources: Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis is officially declining his $28.7 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 16, 2020
He will re-sign with the Lakers, where he and LeBron James just led the franchise to its 17th title.
“I had a great time in L.A. this first year. This has been nothing but joy, nothing but amazement,” Davis said after the Lakers won the title. He refused at the time to comment on his next contract, but zero people around the league think he’s even considering leaving LeBron and the Lakers.
“Me and Bron’s relationship, we’re always close. You guys know that,” Davis said. “I got to L.A., he’s the first one to text me, congratulate me, invite me to his house. We kind of celebrated then. We’ve just grown over this past full kind of year, especially here in the bubble, because we were around each other every day. So we were able to really connect off the floor [in a way] that you might not have a chance to do it when you’re in L.A.”
Davis — who was First Team All-NBA last season — is a lock max player and his salary can jump to $32.7 million next season, with the Lakers able to offer five years at $189.9 million.
Expect Davis to sign a shorter deal, something his agent Rich Paul has pushed for with other clients (including LeBron). Davis could sign a 1+1 deal (one year, plus an option year) to line his contract up on the same schedule as LeBron’s. More likely, he signs a 2+1 because in two years Davis will have reached 10 years in the league and will be eligible for 35% of the salary cap (up from 30% now).
The Lakers will give Davis whatever he asks for, expect the contract to be announced when free agency opens Friday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. Eastern.