As most are aware, Anthony Davis will be a free agent in the summer of 2020.
As has been the plan since being acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, Davis will still enter free agency — that would be because the 26-year-old big man rejected the Lakers’ contract extension offer of four years and $146 million on Tuesday.
While most still expect Davis to re-sign with the Lakers, there’s one important note — the Lakers may not be re-signing Davis to the long-term deal that they wish to. While Los Angeles can re-sign their franchise player to a five-year, $205 million deal, many within the organization feel that Davis will instead opt for a three-year deal rather than a five-year one.
Via Bill Oram of The Athletic:
“Some inside the Lakers anticipate Davis might pass on a five-year contract in favor of a three-year deal with a player option in the third year, similar to the contract Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers last summer. That would allow Davis to hit free agency in 2022, when he would be just 29, and still in his prime, and James would be 37 going on 38.”
While this obviously wouldn’t be the end of the world for the Lakers, it obviously gives leverage to Davis — while forcing Los Angeles to once again worry about who they’re going to build around following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
AD Has Zero Signs of Dissatisfaction With Lakers
As Oram also mentions in his article, there has been no indication that there has been any dissatisfaction for Davis in Los Angeles. The Lakers currently lead the Western Conference with a 30-7 record. Furthermore, Davis has become the Lakers’ go-to option on offense even with LeBron James in the fold, with Davis averaging a team-leading 27.1 points per game.
“There have been zero signs of the sort of dissatisfaction one might anticipate would force Davis to consider bolting in free agency. This is seen by both sides as a long-term partnership. Just like no one expects him to leave in July, no one thought he would sign an extension in January.”
Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Davis should re-sign with the Lakers — just don’t expect it to be for the maximum of five years.
In this age of NBA star players constantly changing locations, Davis being under contract with the Lakers for five years would be a surprise.
Knicks Unlikely to Move Marcus Morris
As reported earlier in the week, the Lakers were monitoring the trade landscape of New York Knicks big man Marcus Morris. They should probably stop trying now.
According to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, the Knicks are unlikely to move Morris by the trade deadline on Feb. 6:
“Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. is a hot name around league circles for so many reasons, but the Knicks have no plans on trading him, a source told Yahoo Sports. He’s on an expiring contract that he’s outperforming, capable of playing both forward positions and is shooting 46.9 percent from three on nearly six attempts a game.
The notion that his numbers are inflated because he’s playing for the Knicks haven’t quelled interest, but the Knicks seem set on keeping Morris as a piece for the present and future. He likes playing in New York and for the franchise, two things that aren’t a given with other players.
And the Knicks have six first-round picks in the next four years, so even the commodities they could get for him doesn’t necessarily fit a need.”
The Lakers will have to shift their attention to other veterans in their quest to upgrade their personnel. They’re reportedly interested in the recently retired Darren Collison, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington and Washington Wizards big Davis Bertans.