Since the Los Angeles Lakers acquired star forward Anthony Davis, the focus around the team has been on his long-term future. Davis has kept his attention on the 2019-20 season, which has left some question marks concerning his long-term commitment to the franchise. He has made it a point to keep that situation open and vague with his plans. With that in mind, there is a growing assumption of what the All-Star big man will do next offseason in free agency.
Anthony Davis’ strong start to Lakers career
In the first few months of his tenure with the Lakers, Davis has quickly proven to worth lofty haul that took to acquire him. He has fit right into the puzzle as one of the driving forces of the franchise.
Despite the team’s recent struggles with their first three-game skid of the season, Davis has been a massive reason for the team holding the best record in the Western Conference ahead of the Christmas Day showdown against the L.A. Clippers. The 26-year-old is leading the team with 27.9 points, which is sixth-best in the league, along with 9.4 rebounds on 49.9 percent shooting from the floor.
Davis has helped make Los Angeles one of the best defensive teams in the league that looks to be a serious title contender. In the wake of all that, the assumption around Davis is that he could be leaning towards one direction with his upcoming free agency decision.
What Anthony Davis is believed to be leaning towards
Davis’ Lakers career has gotten off to an impressive start, but he has kept his plans for free agency next summer close to his vest.
The All-Star forward may not be sure at this point about his next deal, but there is a growing sense around the NBA that he will re-sign with Los Angeles, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN:
Although an extension is not likely, Jan. 7 marks the first date that Anthony Davis can sign a new contract with the Lakers. Because Davis waived his trade bonus when he moved from New Orleans, both sides had to wait six months to do a new deal. Davis will be eligible to sign a four-year, $146 million contract next month, or he can wait until July to ink a five-year, $202 million with L.A.
Although Davis has been noncommittal about his future, the league-wide expectation is that Davis will be in a Lakers uniform for the foreseeable future. This Lakers roster is built to compete for titles, and the teams with 2020 cap space can’t offer that immediately.
Since the move to acquire Davis, the Lakers have operated in a tremendous manner off the court by constructing a championship-caliber roster around Davis and LeBron James. The fact that the organization has put forth a team that looks like a legitimate title contender that could extend past this season could be a significant selling point to keeping their star big man in the mix for the long haul.
In essence, it’s the Lakers’ opportunity to lose to keep Davis in the fold as a centerpiece for the franchise well past James’ tenure.
Anthony Davis, Lakers focused on 2019-20 season
The underlying chatter around the Lakers may be on the long-term commitment from Davis, but the focus from the team is on this season. Los Angeles looks to be in a promising position to compete for an NBA title.
A significant chunk of those hopes will lie on Davis’ play on the court as he and James are the driving force of the team. That will also shift the focus towards keeping both stars healthy as each has been dealing with nagging injuries. Davis is coming off tweaking his knee against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, which he is already dealing with a bothersome ankle and shoulder injuries.
Los Angeles will operate moving forward with the mentality of keeping his health at the forefront of importance. In the meantime, the Christmas Day showdown against the Clippers could be a telling benchmark for Davis and the Lakers.