Anthony Davis is technically going to be the top free agent available during this shortened free agent/offseason period, but nobody actually expects him to leave LeBron and the 2020 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers.
However, when Davis officially opts out of his $28.7 million player option and becomes a free agent tonight at 5:00 CT, he may remain a free agent a bit longer than expected.
ESPN Sources: Anthony Davis is on course to return to the Lakers, but don't expect a formal commitment in the immediate hours and days after free agency opens. Davis will take time to consider the structure and length of a new max contract. https://t.co/nHBQfBGwJq
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 20, 2020
Unfortunately, there’s no reason to get excited. Davis isn’t actually going to use this period to contemplate offers from other teams – like his hometown Chicago Bulls, for example – but he is reportedly expected to wait “minimally through Thanksgiving as he considers his options on the length and structure of maximum contract deals.”
This strategy actually isn’t atypical for Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, who used to extend some of LeBron James’ free agent windows for multiple weeks. So, yes, he will return to Los Angeles, it just won’t happen right away.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Davis has several possible paths forward with the Lakers, including a two year deal ($68M with an option after next year), a three year deal ($106 million with a player option on the 2022-2023 season), a four year deal ($146.7 million) or a five year deal ($189 million) – presumably among other creative paths forward. At just 27-years-old, Davis could still score multiple times in free agency if he plays his cards right. So I’m fascinated to see which way he goes.