When he demanded a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans last summer, All-Star center Anthony Davis had informed everyone in the league about his plan to test the free agency market in the 2020 NBA offseason. Though he considered the Los Angeles Lakers one of his preferred landing spots, Davis has yet to give them an assurance that he would re-sign once he becomes an unrestricted free agent this fall. As Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed in his recent Twitter post, Davis has until October 14 to decide whether he will opt into his $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 NBA season or not.
Once he opts out and officially becomes an unrestricted free agent, several teams will likely try to steal Davis from the Lakers. However, according to Nate Loop of Bleacher Report, sticking with the Lakers is still the “safest bet” for Davis in the 2020 NBA free agency.
“If Davis opts in and takes the one-year deal, he would make $28.7 million next season with the Lakers, per Spotrac. Considering how well things have gone in his first season with the Lakers, most expect him to opt out and sign a long-term deal with the franchise. That means at least another year or two with James, who has a player option in 2021. Davis could also test the waters, but with so much uncertainty surrounding the league for the foreseeable future, sticking with the Lakers seems like the safest bet.”
Whether by opting in or signing a new contract, staying with LeBron James and the Lakers might really be what is best for Davis. With how James and Davis are playing in the 2019-20 NBA season, the pairing undeniably has a realistic chance of accomplishing something big in Los Angeles. James may already be on the wrong side of 30, but he could still play at a high level and remains one of the best active players in the league.
When James retires, the Lakers could keep their status as a legitimate title contender by making Davis the centerpiece of their next championship core. Financially speaking, sticking with the Lakers also makes a lot of sense for Davis since they are the only NBA team that could offer him a five-year max contract in free agency. Though it would bury them deep into the luxury tax hell, the Lakers definitely wouldn’t think twice before throwing away a huge amount of money to keep a player of Davis’ caliber on their roster.