The Los Angels Lakers were one of the most active teams in NBA free agency this offseason, spending their cap space on building a more well-rounded and deep roster behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Now, the Lakers are poised to make a long-term commitment to the eventual face of the franchise.
When Los Angeles acquired Davis, it always envisioned him taking over for LeBron as the centerpiece of the team. While Davis has dealt with a myriad of injuries and at times struggled to be a consistently dominant player, he’s coming off one of the best seasons in his NBA career.
- Anthony Davis contract: $40.6 million salary in 2023-’24, $43.219 million early termination option in 2024
Davis set multiple career highs during the regular season in Los Angeles. He averaged a career-best 56.3 percent from the field including a .573 percent effective field goal rate. Davis also set a career-high in rebounding (12.5 per game) and had his highest Win Shares per 48 minutes since 2019.
After helping the franchise reach the Western Conference Finals this past season, Los Angeles is reportedly now poised to make the All-Star one of the highest-paid NBA players ever.
According to Dan Wolke of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have a “strong interest’ in getting a contract extension done with Davis as soon as possible. The expectation is an agreement is reached before the season and it would be a three-year contract in the range of $170 million.
- Anthony Davis stats (2022-’23): 25.9 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2 BPG, 56.3% FG, .226 WS/48
Once the deal is signed, Davis would join the growing list of NBA players making at least $50 million per season. It would also represent a commitment to the future, one where Davis is the leader of the Lakers’ franchise rather than LeBron.
With James’ contract expiring after the conclusion of the 2023-’24 season, the future Hall of Famer will likely contemplate retirement heading into his age-41 season. If he decides to keep playing basketball, dependent on health, the Lakers might only pursue a one-year deal.