After helping the LA Lakers win the 2020 NBA Finals, Anthony Davis entered the offseason with a big decision to make about his future with the team. Ultimately, he signed a five-year contract to remain in LA.
However, Davis could have signed a shorter deal that would have allowed him to hit free agency much sooner. And on Friday, the seven-time All-Star revealed the key reason why he did not go that route.
Anthony Davis faced a major decision about his NBA future
Anthony Davis capped off another dominant campaign by winning his first NBA title. Still, he faced an uncertain future given his contract status.
In mid-November, the former No. 1 pick opted-out of the final year of the $127 million deal he signed as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. While that technically made Davis a free agent, few expected him to leave LA for another NBA team.
In reality, the move simply gave the superstar forward full control over his basketball future. And with LeBron James also in need of a new deal, Davis had several contract options to consider:
- Two-year, $68 million deal with a player option for the 2021-22 season
- Three-year, $106 million deal with a player option for the 2022-23 season
- Four-year, $146.7 million deal
- Five-year, $190 million deal
Thanksgiving passed without a decision from Davis. But on Dec. 3, the All-NBA forward finally put Lakers fans at ease by agreeing to a five-year deal to stay with the reigning champions.
Davis reveals the key reason why he signed a long-term deal with the Lakers
When healthy, Anthony Davis might be the most unstoppable force in the NBA. However, staying out of the trainer’s room has been a bit of an issue for the talented big man. And as it turns out, that factored into his decision to sign a long-term deal with the Lakers.
“That could have been a two-year, three-year deal,” Davis told the media on Friday. “I have to think about, also, the reality of things, too. I do have a little history with injuries, and a two-year deal, you kind of bet on yourself. God forbid, knock on wood, something happens.”
While the 27-year-old only missed nine games last season, he experienced durability issues with his original team.
In seven years with the Pelicans, Davis didn’t have a single season in which he played all 82 games. In total, he missed 108 games and played a total of just 13 playoff games during his time in New Orleans.
Ultimately, he couldn’t ignore that factor when it came time to choose his next contract.
“I want to secure the most amount of years possible and be here long term with this team, so I thought the five-year deal was best for me in my situation,” Davis explained.
The Lakers are the team to beat until LeBron James leaves
Although LeBron James only signed a two-year deal, Lakers fans should feel great about the team’s chances of winning multiple titles. Because as long as the four-time NBA MVP continues to call LA home, the Lakers should dominate the rest of the league.
James and Anthony Davis headline a roster that seemingly has no holes. In fact, the Lakers can play it safe with their two biggest stars to keep them fresh for the postseason.
General manager Rob Pelinka has done a terrific job upgrading the supporting cast around the two future Hall of Famers. The Lakers made a brilliant trade for dynamic guard Dennis Schroder. The 27-year-old shot a career-high 38.5% from 3-point territory last season despite coming off the bench in all but two games.
Plus, LA bolstered its frontcourt by poaching Montrezl Harrell away from the LA Clippers. The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year should earn plenty of minutes as a tough, versatile forward option off the bench.
Overall, the Lakers have done just about everything right since winning their 17th title. Don’t be surprised if an 18th (and possibly 19th) championship banner gets raised sooner or later, too.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.