Anthony Davis free agency: Lakers have done enough to convince All-Star to re-sign in 2020, per report

When the NBA season was suspended indefinitely due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, the Los Angeles Lakers appeared poised to make a title run. They sat at the top of the Western Conference with a 49-14 record, and were in good health. Thus, if the season is ultimately canceled, the Lakers will not only miss out on a legitimate championship opportunity, but they will also miss out on the opportunity to further sell All-Star forward Anthony Davis on the franchise. 

Davis has a player option for $28.7 million for the 2020-21 campaign that he is expected to turn down in favor of unrestricted free agency this offseason, and a common train of thought in league circles was that a deep postseason run could work in the Lakers favor when it comes to retaining the superstar that they traded for last summer. However, as it stands now, the Lakers may have already done enough to convince Davis to remain in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future, as most across the league’s landscape expect Davis to re-sign with the Lakers, according to a report from Kyle Goon and Mirjam Swanson of the L.A. Daily News: 

By any measure, [keeping Anthony Davis] is the top priority of the summer given what the Lakers had to give up to get him. Most in league circles believe that work is largely done – that L.A. is where Davis wanted to be, LeBron James is the teammate he wanted to have, and that the Lakers have done enough to sell him on a future with the franchise. Again last week, Pelinka mentioned Davis and James in a “partnership” with the front office, and since last July, Pelinka has reportedly sought Davis’ opinion in important decisions.

It makes sense that Davis would want to stay in L.A. after earning minimal playoff experience during the first seven seasons of his career in New Orleans with the Pelicans. Davis had a stellar statistical season for the Lakers, and he is a legitimate candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, as well as MVP, and he’ll certainly make All-NBA. He also appears to have great chemistry with LeBron James, both on and off of the court. The Lakers are the best team that Davis has ever been on, and they would be poised to contend for the next several seasons if Davis re-signed, as James still appears to be at, or near, the peak of his powers. 

Sure, a banner, or at least a Finals appearance, would be a great selling point for the Lakers when the time comes to sit at the negotiating table with Davis. However, even if the season isn’t resumed, Davis and James showed how dangerous they can be together over the course of the regular season, and that may have been enough for Davis to remain in Los Angeles.

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