NBA Rumors: Lakers Have Reportedly ‘Done Enough’ To Ensure Anthony Davis Will Return To Team Next Season
Although Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis declined a four-year maximum contract extension in January and was expected at that time to opt-out of the final year of his current deal, most rumors so far have pointed to him remaining with the team for the next few years. The latest such rumor suggests that amid the uncertainty regarding the fate of the 2019-20 NBA season, the Lakers have, at this point, already done due diligence in making sure their starting power forward won’t be signing elsewhere in free agency in the coming offseason.
In the latest edition of the Purple and Bold newsletter, Kyle Goon and Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register wrote that the Lakers have clearly made keeping Davis in Los Angeles their No. 1 priority, even with the season indefinitely suspended since last month.
“Most in league circles believe that work is largely done – that L.A. is where Davis wanted to be, LeBron James is the teammate he wanted to have, and that the Lakers have done enough to sell him on a future with the franchise,” they wrote.
As explained by Goon and Swanson, the most important unanswered question at the moment relates to how the NBA’s expected loss of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic would affect Davis when he becomes eligible for free agency. The OC Register writers noted that the seven-time All-Star’s best option may be to opt-in to the final year of his contract, considering the likelihood that the league’s salary cap will drop from $109 million-plus in the 2018-19 season to “somewhere closer” to $100 million next season.
"This L.A. Squad with Anthony Davis and Lebron James, they were ready to do big things and deliver a championship…" @AdamSchein agrees with Lebron James, that the NBA players need closure. pic.twitter.com/6Jcz3Zv6eg
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) April 9, 2020
Should Davis opt-in as suggested, this would have him earning less in the 2020-21 campaign than he would if he chooses to enter free agency this summer and negotiate a new maximum contract. However, Goon and Swanson stressed that it may be better if he waits another year and becomes a free agent in 2021 — a point where many teams would have likely “set their sights and budgets” and hopefully recovered from the financial swoon caused by the NBA’s ongoing hiatus.
Despite how the above report seemingly lends credence to the belief that Davis has no plans of leaving Los Angeles, rumors have still been pointing to possible destinations for the former All-NBA big man in the event he opts out of his contract in the offseason. One such report suggested that he could sign with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he would theoretically be forming a “Big Three” with the team’s superstar backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.