Los Angeles Lakers boss Jeanie Buss speaks out on decision to give Anthony Davis a $186 million extension

When it comes to the decision for the Los Angeles Lakers to add three years and $186 million to Anthony Davis’ contract, President and controlling owner Jeanie Buss says there was no hesitation from her to make sure he stayed in purple and gold for as many years as possible.

While the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make a big-name splash in the free agent or trade market this summer, the organization was still very busy. After a major turnaround in the second half of the season, they surprisingly reached the Western Conference Finals in 2023. But keeping together the group that led them back to title contention was far from guaranteed heading into next season.

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At the start of the offseason, several key rotation players and young stars like Austin Reaves were set to hit the open market. Yet, despite some well-known financial limitations, the organization was able to re-sign Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura, as well as replace veteran guard Dennis Schroder with rising point guard Gabe Vincent.

Last week, Sportsnaut spoke with Los Angeles Lakers boss Jeanie Buss on a variety of topics, and when asked about the franchise’s strategy going into the Summer, she said it was simply about doing all they could to keep their surprise team together and still a contender in the West.

“What was important to us was that we had continuity from last season and that we built from the momentum that we created,” Buss told Sportsnaut. “We didn’t win a championship last season, but we did knock off the reigning champs when we knocked out the Golden State Warriors in the second round. And we came through the play-in tournament, so the success that we had was terrific, but we lost to Denver — who ended up winning the championship.

“So, we wanted to bring our core back, which [General Manager] Rob Pelinka did. And the players who left, like Dennis Schroder, we’re going to miss but we signed a free agent in Gabe Vincent.”

Los Angeles Lakers top decision-maker said there was ‘no hesitation’ Anthony Davis’ max extension

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Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

However, for as big as the moves the team made this summer were, none were as monumental — and to some surprising — than the decision to give Anthony Davis a huge three-year extension worth nearly $200 million. The contract locks him up until at least 2026-2027 and has the team on the hook for a huge sum of money.

  • Anthony Davis stats (2022): 56 G, 25.9 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2.0 BPG

While there is no denying Davis’ value and his huge role in getting the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals, there are some around the league that saw it as a big risk considering his well-documented history dealing with injuries. Which includes four seasons in Los Angeles where he has only played more than 60 games once.

However, Buss claims there was never a doubt in her mind that once the eight-time All-Star was available for a maximum extension, the organization wanted to ink him to more years as soon as possible.

“I don’t think anyone could argue that when Anthony was playing [this season], there was a stretch when he was the best player in the NBA. Offensively and defensively,” said Buss. “It was a joy to watch him and I expect more great things from him. He’s been a great Laker. He led us to a championship and I had no hesitation at all, once he became eligible for an extension, that we wanted to keep him for as long we could possibly keep him.”

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