Anthony Davis opting out of his contract to enter free agency was always going to be a day that left Lakers fans feeling a little nervous, so I’m sorry to say that day is finally here.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Davis has made it official, and decided to enter the 2020 free agent class:
Yahoo Sources: Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis is officially declining his $28.7 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 16, 2020
Now before you freak out, let’s remember that this was expected. It was reported the week the Lakers won the championship that Davis was planning to opt out and re-sign with the Lakers. This is just the first step in doing so.
Davis may have also said he has “no idea” what he’ll do in free agency, but that too is easily explained away because it’s probably true that he has not yet decided which type of contract he’ll re-sign with the Lakers on specifically.
Does he opt for a 1+1, securing him for a year and lining up his next player option with that of LeBron James? Does he go for a 2+1 for added financial security and the ability to opt out and take the bigger, 10-year-veteran max contract in two years? Will he sign a long-term deal to make sure he secures the bag right away? Whatever he chooses, Davis has a few options, even if he’s just going back to the Lakers.
Obviously in theory anything can happen, but coming off of a championship and with his co-star and close friend LeBron James — who said that the two still have “more work to do” while celebrating — and with Davis himself saying he wants to follow James to “nine more Finals,” this is about as certain as one can ever be that a star free agent is going to re-sign. That’s why people around the NBA have essentially given up on seeing Davis as an option, especially since even while the NBA goes through a revenue shortfall, the Lakers project to have no financial issues re-signing him.
So yes, Davis may be selling one of his houses, and he may technically be a free agent, but it’s pretty much impossible to envision him leaving. Today might be a day that theoretically offers Davis the ability to leave, but there is nothing to suggest he doesn’t want to stay. This is just the first part of that paperwork process.