The Los Angeles Lakers were crowned NBA Champions this past Sunday after defeating the Miami Heat in 6 games.
After the game, champagne showers commenced and players started live streams on Instagram.
The two were talking about how the Lakers won the championship with “15 in”.
Followed by Cook saying they were going to “run it right back”.
To which Davis replied, “run it right back”.
Anthony Davis on IG Live: “We’re gonna run it right back.”
AD is an upcoming free agent. pic.twitter.com/3QlxoNDv0m
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) October 12, 2020
While it’s not earth-shattering to hear Davis say he wants to return, it is more definitive than his answer to the free-agency question he received after winning the finals.
When a reporter asked about his upcoming free agency, Davis replied, “I have no idea. I don’t know.”.
Davis’s current contract does allow him to opt-out and hit the open market this offseason.
But given the fact AD just enjoyed his most successful professional season, it seems a foregone conclusion Davis will rock the purple-and-gold next year.
Davis’s Offseason Options
Davis essentially has 3 options to consider this offseason.
Opt-in to the last year of his contract and enter free agency in 2021.
Opt-out and resign immediately with the Lakers for the supermax.
Opt-out and explore his options on the open market.
If Davis chose to opt-in, it would mainly be because of the uncertainty surrounding the cap number created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He would be set to make $28.75 million if he opted-in, but could make more if opted-out and resign.
Opting-out and exploring his options on the open market seems the least likely scenario.
The Lakers can not only offer him the most money but also offer him the best chance to win.
LeBron James is signed through next year with a player option for 2021-2022.
Davis opting-out and immediately resigning with the Lakers is the most likely scenario.
And per a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, Davis plans to do exactly that.
Sources: Anthony Davis plans to opt out of contract and re-sign with the Lakers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 15, 2020
Davis and James displayed incredible chemistry during their championship season.
It is hard to fault a guy for wanting to run it back with the greatest basketball player in the world.
Davis’s Contract Options
Davis has a couple of options to consider for his next contract.
These numbers are based on the projected cap number of $109 million.
- 2 years, $68.1 million (1 Year + Player Option in Year 2)
- 3 years, $106.1 million (2 Years + Player Option in Year 3)
- 4 years, $146.7 million (3 Years + Player Option in Year 4)
Accepting a two-year deal would allow Davis to explore free agency next year once a more definitive cap number is set while making more next year than his player option would allow.
The three-year deal would allow Davis to enter free agency in 2022 once he has amassed 10 years of NBA experience.
Once a player hits 10 years of experience, he becomes available to earn up to 35% of a team’s cap space with his contract – the supermax.
This would also align when Davis and James would hit free agency.
LeBron has given no indication he plans to retire anytime soon, but things could change in 2 years.
If LeBron leaves LA, it will allow Davis to find a new team to contend on.
The four-year deal gives Davis the most amount of money per year on any deal.
Davis and his agent Rich Paul will discuss all options before free agency begins (that date is TBD).
Davis Speaks on Being a Champion
In his press conference following the Game 6 win against the Heat, Davis reflected on what it meant to be a champion.
“It’s part of your legacy, to say you’re a champion. Not everybody can say that…You want to go out there and compete for a championship every time you step on the floor… It puts a bigger target on your back, honestly. Teams are going to come after you next year, especially when you’re one of the top players. Guys want to take out the champion. The next four or five years, you have to get better and better. I have to keep improving my game and hopefully I can have this feeling again.”
It was a subtle hint, but it was telling Davis said “Guys want to take out the champion”.
Teams wouldn’t want to take him out as much if he wasn’t with the champion.
He’ll get to face everybody’s best shot next year once he resigns with the Lakers.