The LA Lakers are coming off the emotional high of winning their 17th NBA title after a strong run through the 2020 playoffs. However, it has quickly shifted gears toward critical decisions ahead in the offseason. All that begins with star forward Anthony Davis, who the Lakers won’t have much time at their disposal to hammer out a new deal.
Anthony Davis’ contract situation
Following the Lakers’ big-splash move last offseason to acquire Anthony Davis, the underlying storyline around him concerned his contract situation.
The 27-year-old just finished the fourth year of his five-year, $127.1 million deal that includes a $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 campaign. Throughout all of last season, Davis avoided questions concerning his long-term future with LA.
However, all early offseason indications pointed to the star forward remaining with the franchise, especially after securing his first NBA title. Davis played a significant part in the team’s impressively dominant run to a championship.
The agreed upon start for the 2020-21 season has also significantly shortened the time table to work out a new contract.
Why the Lakers are pressed for time to work out Anthony Davis’ new deal
The NBA and NBPA agreeing to a December start for the 2020-21 season has pushed much league business on the fast track.
One of which centers on contractual decisions for players and teams for the upcoming campaign ahead of free agency. According to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, that date has moved up to Thursday at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, but Anthony Davis’ decision will have a deadline on Monday, Nov. 16.
The expectation is that Davis will opt out and re-sign with the Lakers, but the time frame to work out a new deal is quite short. The upcoming season will begin on Dec. 22, but many important dates are ahead in the next five weeks. Free agency starts on Nov. 20, while training camp is scheduled to begin on Dec. 1.
LA will have their backs against the wall to have a new deal in place with Davis to avoid any possible setbacks. It’s also more than likely that the two sides may already be discussing the contract possibilities to great lengths.
The pressure is on the Lakers to get the job done in the coming weeks, which will be a critical offseason.
LA’s other potential offseason moves ahead
Although the offseason has yet to get into full swing, the Lakers have already made a significant move.
LA is reportedly set to acquire veteran guard Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Danny Green and the 28th overall pick in this year’s draft. Schroder’s addition brings much-needed scoring off the bench with a legitimate Sixth Man of the Year candidate.
The pending transaction sets the table for other notable decisions the Lakers have ahead. Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are both expected to hit the free-agent market. Dwight Howard will also likely draw significant interest from the Golden State Warriors looking to bolster their frontcourt.
Meanwhile, Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee have player options for next season to either decline or pick up. The rumor mill has continued to revolve around the Lakers with possible interest in big man Serge Ibaka to improve their frontcourt, while Wesley Matthews may be an option to help fill the void left by Green’s departure.
The Lakers are in a position to defend their NBA title, which should see a concerted effort in the offseason to build a roster that can accomplish that feat.