According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony Davis’ agent Rich Paul has confirmed that Davis has agreed to a five-year, $190 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal will presumably start at Davis’ maximum salary of $32.7 million for the upcoming 2020-21 season and also includes an early termination option ahead of the 2024-25 season, which will be the fifth year of the deal. Although, with four guaranteed seasons, Davis has committed to the Lakers at least until his 31st birthday.
This agreement comes only one day after big man LeBron James agreed to a two-year, $85 million extension if his own deal with the Lakers. Technically, Davis is under contract for one year longer than James. During the final year of that deal, James will turn 38 years old, and NBA rules restrict long-term contracts from extending beyond a player’s age-38 season. Both James and Davis are represented by Klutch Sports and Rich Paul, and all indications suggest that LeBron plans to spend the rest of his career in Los Angeles. After Davis’ deal, he can feel secure in knowing that Davis will be there with him.
The only drawback is that these deals will limit the Lakers financially, moving forward. Before James and Davis re-signed, there existed situations in which the two could have left money on the table to clear the cap space needed to sign a superstar free agent next summer (presumably, Giannis Antetokounmpo). Now, with James and Davis locked in at the max, that possibility is most likely gone.
Although, coming off of a championship season, such a splurge is not something that Los Angeles necessarily needs. James and Davis could very well be NBA’s two best players entering the 2020-21 season, and the Lakers have also revamped their supporting cast by adding Wesley Matthews, Marc Gasol, Denis Schroder and Montrezl Matthews to the roster. With these players in place, the Lakers are now positioned to contend as long as James remains their big man.
When James will no longer be their superstar, Los Angeles can rest easy knowing that Davis is locked in and ready to take his place as the face of the franchise. In 2019, the Lakers paid a hefty trade sum to land Davis. The move more than paid off considering his performance in the last season’s championship. He will only continue to justify their investment now, with a minimum of four more years as he wears purple and gold.