It had been deemed a foregone conclusion that the 2019-20 NBA season restart would have a significant impact on the timeline of the offseason and league events to come this fall.
This has left teams like the Los Angeles Lakers monitoring the new schedule closely given the significant changes they ushered in last offseason after tying their immediate future to the pairing of Lebron James and Anthony Davis.
After all, they made quite the investment by parting ways with three members of their young core along with three first-round draft picks.
Although the Lakers have been pegged as the favorites to win the title at the Walt Disney World Campus in Orlando, Florida, speculation will eventually focus on Davis’ plans beyond this season.
Davis currently has a player option that would pay him $28.7 million for next season. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the timeline to decide on that has been set for Oct. 14:
New player option dates for 2020 NBA free agency:
Anthony Davis: Oct. 14
Gordon Hayward: Oct. 17
DeMar DeRozan: Oct. 17
Mike Conley Jr.: Oct. 17
Andre Drummond: Oct. 17
The NBA has acknowledged the prospect of a quick turnaround following the truncated season. Davis’ player option date comes just two days after the latest date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Oct. 12.
Many had initially pegged the Lakers to sign Davis to a max contract as soon as this offseason. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is expected to have a significant impact on the salary cap for the 2020-21 NBA season. Since max deals are tied to the salary cap, Davis theoretically could opt to take a short-term deal and test the market once it is back to normal.
There is no question that Davis has provided the purple and gold with plenty of bang for their buck given the resurgence he helped lead alongside James. He averaged 26.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this season en route to positioning Los Angeles to secure the top spot in the Western Conference over the final eight regular-season seeding games.
Although Davis will have a major financial decision to make this offseason, it is safe to say that he is focused on the task at hand.
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