Since the LA Lakers acquired Anthony Davis, the focus around him has been on his pending contract situation. Davis has an opportunity to test the free-agent market in the upcoming offseason, which has created some uncertainty. However, the star forward appears to have already made his decision regarding the impending free agency situation.
Anthony Davis’ impressive first year with the Lakers
In Anthony Davis’ first year with the Lakers, it went as well as it could be expected with the franchise.
Davis put forth one of his best campaigns as he earned an All-NBA First Team selection along with finishing second for the Defensive Player of the Year award. He was a tremendous factor on both ends of the floor while leading the team in scoring with 26.1 points per contest in the regular season.
The star forward stepped it up in the postseason as his play was pivotal to the Lakers securing their 17th NBA title. In 21 playoff games, Davis averaged 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks on 57.1% shooting from the floor and 38.3% from 3-point range.
With the impressive playoff run to an NBA title behind him and the Lakers, the 27-year-old looks to have already made up his mind on his free agency decision.
Anthony Davis finally decides on free agency
Throughout the season, the focus around the Lakers centered on Anthony Davis’ contract situation.
Davis helped guide LA to an NBA title, which has ramped up the chatter around him remaining with the franchise. According to Sham Charania of The Athletic, the 27-year-old is expected to opt-out of his $28.7 million player option for next season and re-sign with the Lakers.
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the team positioned themselves well by presenting a convincing case to keep Davis in the fold. The only question that remains concerns the length of the deal as he will have many options. It’s likely that he takes a shorter contract that lines up with the remaining two years remaining on LeBron James’ deal with the Lakers.
It would mean Davis inks a two-year deal with the second year being a player option like James’ contract. However, he could also go the route of taking a three-year contract with the last year being the player option. It would put him at a 10-year mark before the 2022 free agency, making him eligible to sign a five-year deal worth more than $250 million.
Davis will have plenty of options available to him; it’s just a matter of choosing the scenario that he believes is best for his NBA future.
Lakers’ other major offseason decisions
The Lakers can now move forward with their offseason plans with Anthony Davis expected to re-sign with the team.
It allows them to shift their attention to their other prominent roster decisions. Among those is Dwight Howard, who outperformed his one-year, $2.7 million deal and will be a free agent. The early reports suggest that the Golden State Warriors could vie for his services, but the Lakers may have the upper hand given he has defined his role and coming off winning an NBA title with the team.
Rajon Rondo is expected to decline his contract’s second year but has a significant interest in returning to LA. Meanwhile, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is also likely not to pick up the $8.5 million player option for next year, which could put him in a spot to cash in free agency with LA or another team.
The Lakers will likely make a strong push to secure his services, especially with his impressive showing in the playoffs. Other role players such as Avery Bradley ($5 million) and JaVale McGee ($4.2 million) have important decisions to make with their player options for next season.
The route that things head with each of these crucial role players will significantly shape their roster next season.