We all knew there was absolutely no chance that Anthony Davis was leaving the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. Especially not after winning his first championship.

In his post game press conference, he was asked about potentially testing free agency this offseason and what he’d be doing to which he cryptically said “I have no idea.”

But we all knew what was going on. Davis was never going to leave. That’s all but official now.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Davis is going to remain with the Lakers next season. He’ll opt out of his contract and technically become a free agent, but he’s coming back.

This makes lots of sense. Davis isn’t opting out because he wants to leave — it’s a money move.

Davis is currently slated to make $28.8 million next season in the final year of his current deal. He’ll be able to bump that number a bit by opting out and signing a brand new max deal. It’s unclear how much that would be for him because the NBA doesn’t have a projected salary cap for next season just yet.

We don’t know what Davis’ exact number is going to be, but there are some creative ways he can structure his deal to get a number of outcomes here. Let’s dive into them.

A full five-year max deal

When one of the greatest philosophers and poets of our time, Beyoncé Knowles, said “if you like it put a ring on it,” this is basically what she meant.

In this scenario, Davis signs a full five-year max deal for $189.9 million, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That’s a huge, long-term commitment for both sides to make. Davis would be dedicating his full prime to the Lakers and, by the time the deal is done when he’s 31, he’d probably be considered a bargain.

The 2+1

Davis could sign a three year deal with the Lakers and negotiate a player option in the third year for himself. I’ve got a feeling this is probably the way things will go.

Here’s why, from Shams’ piece.

This deal would bring Davis to 10 years of service before 2022 free agency and thus make him eligible for the 35 percent max contract. Using a $125 million cap projection in 2022, Davis’ max deal would be worth $253.75 million over five years, or $196 million over four years.

This deal securely brings Davis to what would be the biggest pay day of his career so far. It’s as simple as that. But this isn’t the most interesting thing deal — instead, that’s the next one.

The 1 +1

Ah, yes. The infamous 1+1. This is, by far, the most interesting deal and the deal that non-Lakers fans probably want to see.

This is the deal LeBron James made famous while he was in Cleveland strong arming the Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers. The same deal Kevin Durant kept the Warriors on pins and needles with.

Davis could use that same tactic here and make himself the Lakers’ most powerful player immediately. It perfectly lines him up for what is currently the end of LeBron James’ deal after next season.

It also allows him to jump into a new deal immediately if the salary cap comes in lower than projected this offseason. It gives him the ultimate flexibility.

Davis could take this thing a number of ways if he wants to. He could choose security. He could choose flexibility. We have no idea yet, but it’ll be interesting.

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long to find out.


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