Now that the Los Angeles Lakers succeeded in getting Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, the attention immediately turns to him staying for the long-term.
The Lakers have been in this position before as some have been reminded of the team’s first go-round with Dwight Howard, but the team and fans believe the outcome here will be different.
What is the same is that the Lakers dealt a big trade package for an All-Star player who can leave after just one season. There is always the chance that Davis could leave in 2020 NBA free agency but by all accounts, the Lakers are expected to retain Davis.
That seems to be the belief amongst Davis’ inner circle as Sam Amick of The Athletic reports the Lakers would have to really mess up in order to lose Davis:
As one person close to him said when asked to explain how people should see the Lakers’ chances of retaining Davis here, “Just don’t [expletive] it up.”
This is good to hear, but of course there is a long time between now and the start of free agency. The Lakers have championship aspirations and it sounds as if it would take a pretty big drop-off to convince Davis to head elsewhere.
If he were to consider other teams, the New York Knicks could be one to watch:
The New York Knickerbockers, by the way, are one of the few teams currently on track to have the kind of space it would take to bring Davis to town. For anyone who forgets, they were one of the four teams he told the Pelicans he was willing to re-sign with back in February.
It is far too early to speculate about what Davis will do, but it will be on the minds of everyone until he puts pen to paper and agrees to stay in Los Angeles long-term. There have been so many cases of big-name players changing teams via free agency that no one assumes anything anymore.
For the Lakers, losing Davis after giving up so much to get him would be an absolute worst-case scenario. Along with the young talent lost, there are also the multitude of draft picks headed to New Orleans and those would likely be much higher in the NBA Draft without Davis in the fold.
Nonetheless, if the Lakers reach expectations, they should have no issue convincing Davis to stay.