Lakers forward Ed Davis intends to opt out of his contract for next season, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News reports. The big man’s deal contains a player option worth $1,100,602 for 2015/16. Davis prefers to secure his long-term future rather than opting in for short-term security, Medina notes. “I’m hoping for a long-term deal,” said Davis, who has until June 25th to make his final decision regarding his option. “I’d love to return here [Los Angeles]. I know this will turn around eventually.”
Davis had previously rejected a long-term rookie scale extension offer from the Grizzlies back in October of 2013 that would have paid him $5MM to $6MM annually, according to Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal (subscription required). The big man decided against signing an extension with Memphis because he was reportedly displeased with his playing time, Tillery notes. This led Davis to leave Memphis as a free agent and to ink a two-year, $2MM deal with the Lakers last July.
Los Angeles may still elect to try and re-sign Davis, but its priorities this offseason revolve around the NBA draft and trying to attract a max-level free agent, Medina notes. But Davis’ future with the Lakers will likely hinge on what sort of free agent market will develop for his services, Medina adds. The 25-year-old told Medina that he “definitely” understands the financial risk that turning down his player option will entail.
The 6’10” former first-rounder out of North Carolina is enjoying a solid season for the floundering Lakers, and has benefited from the season-ending injury to 2014 lottery pick Julius Randle. Davis is averaging 8.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game. His career numbers are 7.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.1 BPG. His career slash line is .549/.000/.584.