The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t breaking up the band just yet. Big man Anthony Davis plans to opt out of his $28.7 million option with the team, but intends to re-sign with the Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
That decision shouldn’t come as a major surprise. It was expected Davis would opt out of his current deal. While passing up $28.7 million is significant, Davis stands to make much more on the open market. The Lakers can offer Davis a five-year, $202 million deal in the offseason, more than any other team can pay Davis.
Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, will meet with the Lakers in the coming weeks to discuss terms of Davis’ new contract, according to Charania.
Money may not be the only factor Davis considers when signing. He could take a shorter deal depending on how long LeBron James wants to remain with the Lakers. James’ contract with the team runs through the 2021-22 season, and both players could set themselves up for another shot at free agency at the same time. James, 35, could also consider retirement at some point in the next couple seasons, and Davis may not want to remain with the Lakers once James hangs it up.
Anthony Davis wants to remain with the Lakers
For now, though, Davis isn’t going anywhere. While free agency loomed, many expected Davis would return to the Lakers to try and win another championship. That theory gained further momentum when James reportedly told Davis, “We’ve got more work to do” while the two were celebrating in the locker room following Game 6.
Davis was a crucial part of the team’s run to a championship during the 2019-20 NBA season. Davis averaged 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds in his first season with the Lakers. He also came up big in the Finals, dropping 34 points and 32 points in Game 1 and Game 2 against the Miami Heat.
As long as Davis and James are together, the Lakers will remain a major threat in the Western Conference. Questions remain regarding the length of Davis’ new deal, but — at least in the short term — he’s committed to bringing another championship to Los Angeles.
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