Anthony Davis accomplished the incredible feat of helping lead the LA Lakers to an NBA title in his first season with the franchise. However, the focus has immediately shifted over to his free agency plans in the upcoming offseason. Davis has remained mum with that situation, but he may have already accidentally voiced what he wants to do.
Lakers secure their 17th NBA title
The Lakers rolled through the 2020 playoffs finishing with a 16-5 record to garner their 17th NBA title.
LA was guided by the stellar play of their dynamic star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The two provided the bulk of their production while the play from their role players, such as Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Dwight Howard, added the necessary push to lead the Lakers to a championship. The Miami Heat posed a tough challenge in the NBA Finals, but LA pushed through toward a convincing Game 6 performance to secure the ultimate prize.
Although the team is fresh off an NBA title, the attention shifts over to the upcoming offseason, where Davis’ future with the franchise is the primary focus. All that may have already seen the star forward possibly leak what he plans to do in free agency in the coming weeks.
LeBron James’ message to Anthony Davis
The biggest question the Lakers will face this offseason concerns Anthony Davis’ long-term future.
The 27-year-old has remained mum on his free agency plans, but the notion has remained that he will re-sign with the franchise. More fuel to the fire toward that belief has emerged as Davis voiced on teammate Quinn Cook’s Instagram Live stream following the Game 6 win that the Lakers will “run it right back” to defend their NBA title next season.
“It’s my first one man. We going to run it right back.”
Although the overwhelming notion is that Davis will return to the Lakers, his comments from the video should be taken with a grain of salt. Keep in mind, the star forward voiced that during the team’s championship celebration. His emotions were running at an all-time high, while some other factors were at play, such as alcohol.
These comments could be interpreted as being his genuine emotions regarding the situation, but it’s something that will have to work out contractually. It’s a part of the process, but it’s quite clear that Davis has a strong desire to return to the LA to defend their championship.
Only time will tell in LA
It sets the table for what should be quite an intriguing offseason for the Lakers.
Their primary focus is on inking Anthony Davis to a new contract if he does elect to test free agency. There is clearly strong mutual interest, which may come down to finding terms that appease both sides.
LA has the opportunity to offer a five-year max deal to Davis, but there isn’t any clarity if he wants to go that route. It’s more likely that he takes a shorter deal that lines up with LeBron James’ contract as he has two years remaining on his four-year, $153.3 million deal. That includes a $41 million player option for the 2021-22 season.
Davis could wind up inking a two-year contract with an option for the second season to keep his options open. The Lakers have already worked many of their contracts to run through next season. The game plan keeps tremendous financial flexibility open for the summer of 2021 as there is expected to be plenty of premiere talent available in free agency.
It may be inevitable that Davis secures a new deal with the Lakers, but the next contract’s length will reveal the franchise’s long-term direction.