The Los Angeles Lakers do not have much time to celebrate their 17th championship in franchise history as the NBA and NBPA agreed to start the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22.
The players will not be afforded much rest before training camp begins, but the bigger challenge may be for the front office as they must navigate the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency simultaneously.
The Lakers have several decisions to make on presumed key free agents such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard, all of whom will likely field at least a few offers from opposing teams. Each player had a role during Los Angeles’s championship run and it would be in their best interest to try and retain them if possible.
Of course, the biggest decision in the offseason for the Lakers will come down to Anthony Davis. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, he will decline his player option and become a free agent:
Yahoo Sources: Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis is officially declining his $28.7 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 16, 2020
Davis was always going to decline his player option and fans should not be afraid of the decision. Previous reports stated that the big man would re-sign with the team after declining the option and all signs point to that being the case.
It is hard to imagine Davis leaving Los Angeles after asking to be traded there and especially after winning his first ring with the storied franchise. He has also expressed his desire to play next to LeBron James for several years, almost ensuring that he will be with the team for the foreseeable future.
While it is safe to assume Davis will be back, the only remaining question is what his next contract will look like. A short-term contract would be the best path so he can re-enter free agency and make more money then, but the only thing that matters is that he stays in purple and gold.
Potential contract options for Davis
Superstars in recent years have opted for shorter contracts, with James leading the way on that front.
Davis could follow a similar path in order to maximize his earnings. The most financially prudent option would be to sign a three-year deal with a player option in the last year. This would put Davis at the 10-year career mark, allowing him to sign a contract at 35% of the salary cap.
He could also sign a two-year deal or a “one plus one” contract that would allow tie him to James in free agency.
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