When the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Anthony Davis, they mortgaged their future in hope that the big man stays with the team for years to come. Thanks to the team playing like championship contenders, his chances of staying with the team only increase. However, despite the Lakers offering a max contract, Davis has decided to stay put and wait until the end of the season to decide his next move. Marc Berman at the NY Post believes that a championship will lead to Davis staying with Los Angeles, but he may not give the team a long-term commitment:
“Odds are, the Lakers are headed to a dreamy postseason, maybe even to their 17th championship if everyone stays healthy. At that point, Davis will stay.
However, some agents believe it’s not out of the possibility that Davis pulls ‘a LeBron.’
James was the pioneer who originally signed the original ‘one-and-one deal’ — a game-changing short-term commitment.”
It’s a new trend for some of the best players in the NBA to not commit to a team past one year. There is risk involved, especially for an injury-prone player like Davis, but he seems willing to bet on himself.
Lebron’s Age Could Be a Factor
One major factor why Davis won’t give the Lakers a long-term commitment is because LeBron James is getting up there in age. The two clearly play well together and share an agent, but LeBron isn’t going to be playing at a high level forever. He’s almost 10 years older than Davis and that fact isn’t lost on the big man.
“I’ve heard that idea floating around, keeping him shorter term, because of LeBron’s age,’’ one agent said, per Berman.
Davis wasn’t able to turn the New Orleans Pelicans into a title contender by himself. He clearly needs an elite player by his side if he hopes to win a championship. While LeBron is playing like one of the three best players in the NBA right now, there’s no way he’s going to be able to keep it up forever. Father time catches up to everybody. Now, this doesn’t mean that once LeBron is done, Davis is gone. It just gives him some leverage to make sure the Lakers put a good team around him if he’s going to stay.
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Davis Could Target New York
One team the Lakers should worry about once Davis hit free agency is the New York Knicks. They’ve been starved for a superstar player for years and Davis has previously expressed interest in going there. Berman also revealed some interesting insight:
“At least there is one superstar who has been on record expressing a legitimate interest in playing in New York. And sources insist his influential agent, Rich Paul, would one day like to have a star client in New York.”
Rich Paul clearly has a lot of say-so when it comes to where his players play. He could provide the extra push that convinces Davis to go to New York. That would be disastrous for the Lakers considering what they gave up to get him. Los Angeles needs to ensure to consistently put a good team around Davis so that he would be foolish to leave.