Having opted out of the NBA’s summer restart, veteran guard Avery Bradley wasn’t on the Lakers‘ active roster when they secured the 17th title in franchise history in Orlando earlier this week. However, Bradley was extremely invested in his team’s playoff run and celebrated the championship at his home in Texas, according to Dave McMenamin and Malika Andrews of ESPN.
“I watched every single game,” Bradley said. “I am still a Laker.”
Bradley has a player option worth $5MM+ for 2020/21, and despite being separated from his teammates for the past several months, he doesn’t sound like someone who’s preparing to move on from the franchise this fall. As McMenamin and Andrews detail, Bradley received FaceTime calls during Sunday’s celebration from multiple members of the Lakers, including general manager Rob Pelinka, who has said the guard will get a championship ring.
“He was just letting me know I am a part of it,” Bradley said. “It has been a long season — and an amazing one. And we’ve been through a lot. It was just an amazing win. You could see it on his face.”
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (video link) got an exclusive sitdown with LeBron James and Anthony Davis following Sunday’s win and asked the two superstars about their respective futures. However, when pressed about his free agency, Davis offered no more specifics to Nichols than he did to the rest of the media. “We’ll see,” Davis said. With a laugh, James interjected, “Nobody’s talking about that right now.”
- As part of his preview of the Lakers’ offseason, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) explores Davis’ impeding free agency and his potential contract scenarios. Marks also takes a look at the possibility of an extension for James and evaluates where things stand for the rest of the roster.
- Marks and John Hollinger of The Athletic both believe that a three-year maximum-salary contract with an opt-out after year two might be the most logical option for Davis and the Lakers this fall. That would put Davis in position to earn a higher max (35% of the cap instead of 30%) when he gains 10 years of NBA experience in 2022. It would also ensure he receives an 8% raise in 2021. If he signs one-year contracts for the next two years, he wouldn’t be assured of that raise, since there’s no guarantee the cap (and the maximum salary) will increase in 2021/22.
- Earlier this afternoon, we passed along the early odds for the Western Conference in 2020/21. The Lakers, at +275, are considered the favorites for now.