The Los Angeles Lakers secured a long-term future with the most important players by agreeing to new contracts on consecutive days this week with Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Davis and James’ agent Rich Ball said Thursday that the Lakers and Davis have agreed on a five-year contract worth a maximum of $ 190 million. Ball said James and Lakers agreed on Wednesday to extend a maximum two-year contract worth $ 86 million.
Davis, 27, became an unrestrained free agent after helping the Lakers win the franchise’s 17th championship in October, but he did not negotiate with any other team. After spending some time contemplating a variety of contract terms, Davis agreed to the longest possible deal with Los Angeles. It includes a player option that gives him the right to return to a free agency after the 2023-24 season.
James, who turns 36 later this month, also secured the longest possible deal without invoking the NBA’s 38-year-old rule, which prevents older players from signing multi-year deals. He previously had a player option for the 2021-22 season, but is now under contract with the Lakers during the 2022-23 season – by extending the first contract he has signed with his current team since he signed an extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted it in 2006.
Davis waited until after much of the league’s off-season work was completed – and after James extended it – to stick to the deal. Persuading him to sign a maximum length contract, rather than a shorter team contract that would have allowed him to return to the free agency faster, seals a triumphant few weeks for the Lakers following their championship season in the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.
The Lakers seem to have clearly advanced their roster by acquiring high-goal goalkeeper Dennis Schroeder by trade, hiring defense specialist Wesley Matthews and adding Montrezel Harrell’s outstanding front-area duo and veteran center Mark Gasol at Free Agency. They were also able to re-sign some of the major shareholders – Kentavius Caldwell Pope, Markeff Morris, and Jared Dudley – to mitigate the departures of Ragon Rondo, Danny Green, Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard.
Lakers owner Jenny Boss, and General Manager Rob Belenka, faced huge criticism after James’s first season in Los Angeles, in 2018-19. That year, the Lakers extended their supplement dryness to six straight seasons. Magic Johnson abruptly resigned as head coach in April 2019, and the Lakers’ attempts to hire Tyrone Law as head coach collapsed. But Buss and Pelinka have rebounded hugely, starting with Frank Vogel’s appointment as coach and June 2019 trade with New Orleans to land with Davis.
The Lakers, set to hold their first group training for the new season, on Sunday, will open as the best collegiate candidate in the league to win it all. The Lakers weren’t even the favorites in their city last season after the Los Angeles Clippers took over Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Davis averaged 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals in the qualifiers last season, raising his performance from a regular strong season in which he finished second after Milwaukee Giannis Antiteconembo in the League’s Player of the Year vote.
James this year became the first player to receive the best player in the NBA Finals with three different franchises, and led the league in assists for the first time with 10.2 per match. The contract extension would move James’s career into 20 NBA seasons if he plays it through 2022-23 – the same year his eldest son, Bruni, is expected to graduate from high school.