With the addition of Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers shot up to the top of the NBA standings, becoming the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed in his first season with the team. Immediately after being traded to L.A.,given the haul they gave up to get him, the biggest question mark was would Davis re-sign once reaching free agency.
Davis rejected a four-year contract extension in January, which was expected. It left him on track to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season if he declines a player option, and the trade would be considered a failure if L.A. cannot win a championship and Davis leaves.
Even though all indications point to Davis staying with the Lakers, there are no guarantees, especially considering how tumultuous this season has been.
With the NBA undergoing a four month hiatus amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some began to wonder if that time off could affect Davis’ offseason decisions. “Actually it hasn’t (entered my mind). I was focused on trying to see what the NBA was going to do about this season and if we were going to come back or not,” Davis said.
“It didn’t cross my mind during the three-month, four-month break.”
Davis has reiterated on multiple occasions that all of his attention is on winning a championship, and that free agency is not even on his mind. However, it’s fair to assume that four months off could have changed that.
With the NBA starting back up again, Davis’ focus continues to be on hoisting up the Larry O’Brien trophy in October. When free agency begins shortly after that, Davis will then be faced with a choice.
He will likely be faced with a number of suitors, all looking for a chance to sign one of the league’s best players just as his prime begins. And while the Lakers will be at the front of the line, there’s no doubting that teams like the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls will put on their best sales pitch.
The Knicks were one of the reported teams on Davis’ list when he initially requested a trade in 2019. Meanwhile, the Bulls hail from Davis’ hometown, and have a promising young core to build around him.
Pairing Davis with Zach LaVine and Lauri Markannen could be interesting and may be enough to get his attention. Regardless, the Lakers are hoping that their free agent pitch will come in the form of a championship, and a team already built around him.
Lakers expected to re-sign Davis if they don’t mess it up
While Davis’ free agency has been an ongoing story throughout the entire 2019-20 season, the belief around the league remains that the Lakers are the heavy frontrunners.
Back in October it was believed that if the Lakers don’t get in their own way, Davis would absolutely re-sign. Well, going into the NBA’s restart, L.A. is 49-14 with the No. 1 seed and the league’s best chemistry.
It would seem that the Lakers have done nothing to hurt their chances of getting Davis’ services long term at the conclusion of this crazy season.
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