Report: Lakers have ‘strong interest’ in offering Anthony Davis massive deal worth nearly $57M annually

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly have “strong interest” in completing a contract extension with big man Anthony Davis.

“According to people with knowledge of the situation, there’s strong interest from the Lakers in getting an extension done with the 30-year-old big man,” wrote Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “Indications are that the team is prepared to make a full three-year offer despite concerns about Davis’ durability.

“The sides can formally start speaking today.

“Davis, who has two years left on his deal, does possess a player option following this season. A max extension, which would pay him an additional $170 million through the 2027-28 season, would cement him as a pillar of the franchise.”

Davis set himself up for this big payday after returning from a foot injury in January and helping the Lakers overcome an injury to LeBron James to make the postseason. The center then was a big factor during an unexpected playoff run that went all the way to the Western Conference Finals.

From Jan. 25 to the end of the regular season, Davis averaged 24.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game, playing 31 of 34 games during the Lakers’ 21-13 finish to the season. He followed that by averaging 22.6 points and 14.1 rebounds per game in the playoffs, which ended with a four-game loss to the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets.

It was an impressive run for the oft-injured big man, who has played more than 60 games just once in the past five seasons.

Completing a contract extension with Davis would be the latest significant accomplishment for the Lakers front office this offseason.

Earlier this summer, the team was able to re-sign Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura while also adding Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes. The economics of those new contracts may have put the organization in a more comfortable position to offer Davis a new deal.

“While it’s unknown what Davis and his camp will seek, it would seem like a no-brainer for both sides to knock this out before training camp, with the organization continuing to build on the momentum it seized last February at the trade deadline,” wrote Woike.

“The expectation here is that it gets done, with just the particulars about options and other terms to iron out.”

The acquisition of Hayes as a free agent from the New Orleans Pelicans is expected to have an impact on Davis, with the Lakers confident they can play alongside each other in two-big lineups. If the 23-year-old also proves he can be effective without Davis on the court, that could allow the Lakers to monitor the older player’s minutes and load management throughout the season.

Davis’ health and performance are likely to be huge factors as the Lakers attempt to win another NBA championship. Having him in a good state of mind with his future secured by a big contract would be a good start to that cause.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.