Anthony Davis isn’t ready to look down the road just yet with the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s focused on the task at hand.
Davis turned down a four-year, $146 million max extension on Tuesday, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Davis has a one-year player option left on his deal, but will likely opt out, becoming an unrestricted free agent.
The team was informed by Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, that he would not be accepting prior to the team’s matchup against the Knicks on Tuesday.
Anthony Davis Expected to Stay With Lakers
Before fans in LA begin to panic, Davis turning down the offer does not mean he’s ready to move on to another team. Haynes said Davis turned down the deal because he is “solely focus on this season” and for salary-cap implications.
Davis will be eligible to sign a five-year max deal worth north of $200 million if he declines his player option for next season, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Both McMenamin and Haynes reported that those within league circles do not expect Davis to leave the Lakers.
After struggling to find relevance in New Orleans to start his career as the No. 1 overall pick in 2012 despite some monster seasons, Davis has been routinely in the national spotlight playing alongside LeBron James in Los Angeles.
Davis is averaging 27.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.6 blocks per game in his first season as a Laker and is a contender for both Defensive Player of the Year and MVP.
Anthony Davis ‘Staying in the Moment’ With Lakers
A move to Los Angeles has proved fruitful in many ways for Davis, and the Lakers are installed as the favorite to win the NBA title.
But considering how things can change over the season and the amount of money he can make if he waits and opts out, there’s little reason for Davis to be pressing on the gas for an extension. Barring a very significant injury, he’ll be worth all the max-money available.
“I still look at it as we’ll see what happens at the end of the season,” Davis said Wednesday on ESPN’s First Take. “Obviously, the season’s going great so far and I’m trying to stay in the moment and worry about that when the season’s over. But I feel like we can do something special this year. With the team that we put together and the coaching staff that we have, I don’t feel like no one can beat us but the Los Angeles Lakers.
“But when that time comes I’ll think about it and see what’s going on. But right now I’m trying to focus and win a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers.”
The Lakers are currently 29-7 and are sitting atop the Western Conference by four games. Denver, Houston and the LA Clippers are all within 4.5 games back. The Lakers have won their past five games after suffering a four-game losing streak through the Christmas holiday.
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