If the NBA Finals goes to a Game 7, it will be played on Oct. 13. To put into context how insane that is, the Lakers had already played two preseason games by Oct. 13, 2019.
What’s even more unbelievable is that free agency will open five days later on Oct. 18 — three months later than when it was set to open on July 1. As a result, the option dates for some of the biggest names in the 2020 NBA free agency class, including Anthony Davis, have been pushed back:
New player option dates for 2020 NBA free agency:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2020
Anthony Davis: Oct. 14
Gordon Hayward: Oct. 17
DeMar DeRozan: Oct. 17
Mike Conley Jr.: Oct. 17
Andre Drummond: Oct. 17
The deadline for Anthony Davis to exercise his $28.8M player option is Oct. 14- one day after Game 7 of the NBA Finals.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 23, 2020
Going into the season, that date didn’t mean anything to Lakers fans because the expectation was that Davis would opt out of his current contract and sign a multi-year deal for 30% of the salary cap, which, under the NBA’s original projection ($116 million), started at $34.8 million. However, with the uncertainty surrounding what the cap will look like following the season’s hiatus and the China incident from earlier in the season, it might actually be in Davis’ best interest to opt into his deal because of how much the cap might drop.
That’s not to say Davis won’t consider the benefits of signing a long-term contract for less money than he was expected to get in free agency, but if the difference between his current contract and a new contract is marginal, he and his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports could opt to test the market next summer, when he’ll be eligible to sign for 35% of the salary cap. Whether or not the cap spikes in 2021, it will likely be more money than what he’ll get if he signs a multi-year deal in October.
There’s also the possibility that he doesn’t re-sign at all, but we don’t talk about that because 1) it’s probably not going to happen and 2) it hurts to think about.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.