Leading up to his debut with Los Angeles, Anthony Davis was clearly playing it safe in regards to his upcoming free agency. Since his trade request to the Lakers was granted by New Orleans this past July, it has been assumed that the superstar big man will return to Los Angeles.
If such a scenario will play out, however, it won't be until after Davis is officially a free-agent. In an article by Bobby Marks of ESPN, he details the unlikelihood of Davis agreeing to an extension with the Lakers over signing a brand new contract when he hits the open market in July.
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.
Fortunately for L.A., their competition this summer is rather meager. No team can put Davis in a winning situation, and even less can even compare with the lure of the market that is Los Angeles. It is likely that Davis will return for at least another few more seasons.
Still, he is leaving room for a departure if things go wrong. If the Lakers somehow mess things up between now and then, the threat of him signing elsewhere could be much more serious. Without him, it is unlikely that L.A. can hope to match the pace they're on this season.
As the first-offensive option, Davis is averaging 27.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game on 49% shooting. He is 26-years-old.