Anthony Davis

Lakers Re-Sign Anthony Davis To Five-Year Max Contract

6:38pm: The Lakers have officially re-signed Davis to his new five-year max deal, the team announced in a press release.

“In the Orlando bubble, Anthony Davis proved he is one of the game’s most complete and dominant two-way players,” general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “Now, Lakers fans get to watch AD continue to grow and lead our franchise for years to come. This is truly a blessed moment for Lakers Nation.”

6:44am: The Lakers are finalizing a five-year, maximum-salary contract with star big man Anthony Davis, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal could be signed as soon as today, Woj notes.

Davis’ new five-year contract will have an overall value of approximately $189.9MM. As our breakdown of maximum salaries for 2020/21 shows, AD will earn $32.74MM this season and will receive 8% raises, increasing the value to $43.22MM by year five. According to Wojnarowski, the deal will include an early termination option prior to that fifth year, giving the seven-time All-Star the chance to opt out in 2024.

Davis entered free agency as the No. 1 player on the market and was always expected to re-sign with the defending champion Lakers on a new max contract. However, there was an expectation that he’d take his time to consider all his options in terms of the length and structure of that deal.

Most league observers believed Davis would opt for a shorter-term contract that would allow him to re-enter free agency in 2022, when he has 10 years of NBA experience under his belt and qualifies for a starting salary worth 35% of the salary cap instead of 30%. As Wojnarowski writes, the former No. 1 overall pick did consider several short-term contract scenarios as well as long-term options.

Ultimately, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, Davis opted for long-term security and the largest possible chunk of guaranteed money he was eligible to receive at this point. He’ll still only be 31 years old in 2024 when he can re-enter free agency, so he should be in good position to sign a new max deal – starting at 35% of the cap – at that point.

Davis’ contract agreement comes on the heels of LeBron James reaching a deal with the Lakers to extend his contract through 2023. A report in the wake of that news indicated that James and Davis were making their contract decisions independent of one another, and the terms of AD’s new deal offer further confirmation of that. Rather than having one or both of their superstars reach free agency in 2021, the Lakers now have James locked up through ’23 and Davis under contract through at least ’24.

In his first year as a Laker following his trade from New Orleans, Davis showed in 2019/20 why Los Angeles was willing to give up a massive haul of players and picks to acquire him. He averaged 26.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, and 2.3 BPG in 62 regular season games (34.4 MPG), finishing sixth in Most Valuable Player voting. He was also the anchor of the Lakers’ defense and was the runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year vote.

Having appeared in just 13 playoff games in his seven seasons prior to 2020, Davis came up big for L.A. during the team’s championship run, recording 27.7 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 3.5 APG with an impressive .571/.383/.832 shooting line in 21 postseason contests.

With Davis officially off the board, all 50 of our top free agents of 2020 have now reached contract agreements with NBA teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Pacific Notes: LeBron, Davis, Fox, Bogdanovic, Clippers

LeBron James‘ decision to sign a contract extension with the Lakers isn’t related to Anthony Davis‘ free agency, sources tell ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst explains, if James hadn’t negotiated an extension and Davis signed a one-plus-one deal in free agency, the two superstars could’ve reached the open market together in 2021 and the Lakers could’ve explored ways to re-sign both players will adding another star.

However, James wasn’t interested in going that route, according to Windhorst, who says the reigning Finals MVP is confident the team will continue to spend and attract top talent. LeBron prioritized his own long-term earnings over helping the Lakers remain as flexible as possible.

Davis, meanwhile, is still mulling how to structure his contract and is making his decision independent of James, writes Windhorst. The star big man is also looking to maximize his future earnings and is researching scenarios and possible cap increases as he considers the best way to do so.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • After signing a maximum-salary extension with the Kings last week, De’Aaron Fox said on Tuesday that he loves playing in Sacramento and wants to help turn the team into a contender, says James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I want to be able to bring wins to this city, bring wins to this franchise,” Fox said. “I’m very happy that we have that commitment and we have that trust in each other. But now, it’s about winning. I think that’s what it’s always been about.”
  • In a separate story for NBC Sports California, Ham writes that the Kings‘ relatively quiet offseason was one factor that motivated Bogdan Bogdanovic to leave Sacramento. “Since (the Kings) didn’t do any moves in the offseason, I was like, ‘OK, I’m ready to leave,'” Bogdanovic told reporters today. “And I was really excited about Atlanta.”
  • Asked about the possibility of signing Paul George and Luke Kennard to extensions, Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank didn’t offer any info on possible contract talks, but said the team views both players as “long-term Clippers,” according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

Lakers Notes: Schroder, Davis, Dudley, Cap Room

Dennis Schröder expects to start with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Schroder, who was acquired from the Thunder, said that was addressed by his representatives before the trade was completed. “I think my agent talked to the organization (about starting) before they was trading me,” he said “So, that’s that.” Schroder served a sixth-man role with Oklahoma City. His main competition for a starting job would presumably be Alex Caruso, though LeBron James is the de facto point guard and led the league in assists last season.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Anthony Davis, who remains an unrestricted free agent, will meet with the team on Tuesday, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Davis, who will joined by agent Rich Paul, is widely expected to sign a max deal of undetermined length during training camp.
  • Davis might wait to see if Giannis Antetokounmpo signs an extension with Milwaukee before he decides how to structure his contract, Brian Windhorst of ESPN suggests (video link). The Lakers could have a significant amount of cap flexibility if Davis signs a two-year contract with a player option, which would help them pursue the two-time MVP.  However, Antekounmpo doesn’t have to make a decision until December 21 and it’s doubtful Davis will want to wait that long.
  • Jared Dudley has agreed to re-sign for one more season and he has the power to block a trade under the one-year Bird rule, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • Dudley’s veteran minimum deal will leave the Lakers $2.9MM below the hard cap, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link). That would allow the club to add a player in mid-January or in early April after buyouts are executed around the league.

Free Agent Rumors: Teague, Payton, Beasley, Davis, Ibaka, Thompson

The Knicks have interest in free agent Jeff Teague as a starting point guard option, Marc Berman of the New York Post tweets.  Teague, who made $19MM annually over the last three seasons, averaged 10.9 PPG and 5.2 APG in 59 combined games with the Timberwolves and Hawks last season.

If the Knicks don’t sign the 32-year-old Teague, they may shift back to one of their own free agents, Elfrid Payton. Front office executive Scott Perry remain a fan of Payton despite his perimeter shooting issues, Berman adds. Payton averaged 10.0 PPG and 7.2 APG in 45 games with New York last season.

We have more free agent news:

  • The Bucks expressed interest in combo guard Malik Beasley before he chose to re-sign with the Timberwolves, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Beasley agreed to a four-year, $60MM contract with Minnesota.
  • Anthony Davis will return to the Lakers but he might not put that in writing until December, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports. Agent Rich Paul said there is no hurry for Davis to put his name to a contract and the signing could come just before or even during training camp.
  • After completing an agreement with Fred VanVleet, Raptors president Masai Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster will meet with their other prominent free agent, forward Serge Ibaka, on late Saturday afternoon or evening, Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet tweets. As many as 10 teams have shown interest in signing Ibaka, who is coming off a career year and strong postseason run.
  • The Timberwolves have inquired about center Tristan Thompson, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets. Minnesota is seeking some depth in the middle behind starter Karl-Anthony Towns.

Max Contracts Expected For Ingram, Tatum, Mitchell

Teams around the NBA are projecting Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, and Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell to agree to maximum-salary contracts with their respective teams not long after free agency opens, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Ingram, the top restricted free agent on the market this fall, made the All-Star team for the first time in 2020, averaging 23.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 4.2 APG as the Pelicans’ go-to scorer. His maximum salary for the coming season will be $27.3MM and he could earn up to $158.3MM if he signs a full five-year contract. A four-year max deal would be worth $122.2MM.

As for Tatum and Mitchell, neither player is a free agent this year, but both are eligible for rookie scale extensions that will go into effect in 2021/22. They’ve long been considered two of the most likely players from this year’s group of rookie-extension-eligible players to sign lucrative new contracts, so Stein’s report comes as no surprise.

The value of Tatum’s and Mitchell’s contracts will depend on how much the cap increases for the ’21/22 season. A 3% increase would result in a total value of at least $163MM over five years. That number could go a little higher if Rose Rule language is included in their new deals and they make an All-NBA team in 2021.

Stein adds that Anthony Davis is expected to be a max-salary player too, which is a given. A report earlier today indicated that Davis may take his time considering the length and structure of his contract before formally re-signing with the Lakers.

Anthony Davis Won’t Rush Into Next Deal With Lakers

Anthony Davis will take his time working out a new contract with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Davis is the top free agent on this year’s market, but that’s just a formality as he remains committed to staying with the team where he just won an NBA title. Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, will reach out to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka after free agency officially begins at 6pm ET, sources tell Wojnarowski, but Davis doesn’t plan to commit to a new deal until after Thanksgiving.

The 27-year-old has a number of options to consider as he plots his future in Los Angeles. He could accept a three-year, $106MM offer with a player option for 2022/23 that would match up with the rest of LeBron James‘ contract. He could also take $68MM over two years with an option after next season or a longer deal such as $146.7MM for four years or $189MM for five.

Paul also represents James and it wasn’t unusual for contract negotiations to stretch out for several weeks when LeBron was in Cleveland, Wojnarowski adds.

Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Opting Out

As expected, Lakers veterans Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Rajon Rondo are officially opting out of their contracts in order to reach free agency, according to reports from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Shams Charania of The Athletic, and Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (all Twitter links).

Those decisions had been considered formalities at this point, as reports a month ago indicated that Davis, Caldwell-Pope, and Rondo all planned to turn down their player options for 2020/21. Those plans have now been confirmed.

[RELATED: NBA Player Option Decisions For 2020/21]

Davis will technically be the No. 1 free agent on the open market this fall, but he’s not expected to consider any pitches from rival teams. The plan is to re-sign with the Lakers for the maximum salary ($32.74MM), which is higher than his option salary ($28.75MM) would have been.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers intend to present several different contract options to Davis and agent Rich Paul and will work with him on the deal that makes him feel most comfortable. A five-year contract is considered unlikely — the two sides are more likely to agree to a two- or three-year deal that features a player option in its final season.

Rondo and Caldwell-Pope, meanwhile, are expected to receive plenty of interest from rival suitors. Turner cites the Clippers and Hawks as two clubs expected to pursue Rondo, whom the Lakers are reportedly bracing to lose.

As for Caldwell-Pope, teams are under the impression that he’s open to offers, and he’s expected to have several suitors, according to Charania, who previously identified Atlanta as one team likely to “emerge with interest.” The Lakers and KCP are believed to have strong mutual interest — after having agreed to trade Danny Green, the Lakers will likely make it a priority to re-sign their free agent three-and-D wing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Western Notes: Davis, Clarkson, Temple, Lee, Mavs’ Drafts

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka hopes to not only retain Anthony Davis for the long haul but also pair him with a young superstar in those future years, he told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on a recent podcast (hat tip to Donny McHenry of Davis is expected to re-sign — at least in the short term — with the Lakers, even if he declines his $28.75MM player option.

“We hope that we can have another championship run next year, for sure, and we’re going to work hard to try to keep the pieces around LeBron (James) and AD, build pieces around LeBron and AD to do that,” Pelinka said. “But also, with the future, again, if you study our cap (space) we have the flexibility to say, “Can we add another really, really talented young player to run it out with AD if he chooses to stay as a free agent for five, six, seven, eight years?””

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • The Jazz need to re-sign free agent Jordan Clarkson and use their mid-level exception on a wing player that can defend quicker players, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News opines. Utah owns Clarkson’s Bird rights and needs his offensive punch, notes Todd, who also details why it would be a bad idea to trade for the Sixers’ Al Horford.
  • Garrett Temple, Courtney Lee and D.J. Augustin are some of the free agents the Pelicans might consider signing, according to William Guillory of The Athletic. Any of them could take a leadership and mentoring role as well as helping off the bench. Guillory also examines the glut of guards on the roster and predicts the players that will be lopped off.
  • The Mavericks’ draft picks this year could be their most valuable selections over the next five years, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News writes. Dallas owns the No. 18 overall pick as well as the first pick of the second round (No. 31), courtesy of a 2016 three-team deal that involved the Warriors. The Mavericks don’t have first-rounders in two of the three ensuing drafts due to the Kristaps Porzingis trade with the Knicks.

Anthony Davis Plans To Opt Out, Re-Sign With Lakers

Anthony Davis isn’t expected to exercise his $28.75MM player option for the 2020/21 season, but there’s also no expectation that he’ll leave Los Angeles, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports that the star big man intends to opt out and then re-sign with the Lakers.

As Charania details, the plan is for Davis and agent Rich Paul to hold meetings in the coming weeks leading up to free agency to discuss the situation and determine the contract length and structure that is “most sensible” for the 27-year-old.

The Lakers are expected to offer Davis whatever form of max contract he wants, whether it’s for one year or five, so it will be up to AD and Paul to decide the best route for the seven-time All-Star.

There are several factors to consider, including the state of the NBA’s salary cap for the next couple seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Davis will be eligible for a more lucrative “maximum” salary in 2022, when he’ll have 10 years of NBA experience and will be eligible for a starting salary worth 35% of the cap instead of 30%.

Assuming the cap doesn’t increase for the 2020/21 season, Davis would be in line for a max salary of $32,472,000 next season, which is why he’ll turn down his $28,751,774 option. If he tacks on extra years to his new deal, he can receive 8% annual raises, regardless of future salary cap increases. With so much uncertainty surrounding the cap, a multiyear deal that locks in those raises could end up being more player-friendly.

If Davis signs a two-year deal with a second-year player option or a three-year deal with a third-year player option, he’d be in a position to sign a new long-term contract in 2022. The hope would be that the NBA has mostly recovered from the impact of the coronavirus by that point and that the cap would be on the rise again. Even if it the cap hasn’t significantly increased by then though, it’d be a good time for Davis to sign a new contract that would start at 35% of the cap.

Davis, who was sent from New Orleans to Los Angeles last summer in a blockbuster trade, had a monster first year with the Lakers, averaging 26.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, and 2.3 BPG in 62 regular season games (34.4 MPG).

He finished sixth in MVP voting and second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, helping lead the club to the West’s No. 1 seed. He followed up a dominant regular season by recording 27.7 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 3.5 APG, and 1.4 BPG in 21 postseason contests en route to the first title of his career.

Given the success he enjoyed as a Laker, there has never been any real doubt that Davis would re-up with the franchise, even if he was noncommittal when asked about it earlier this week following the team’s Game 6 win.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lakers Notes: Bradley, Davis, LeBron, Offseason

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.