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Report: Lakers have ‘strong interest’ in full, 3-year extension for Anthony Davis

All signs are pointing towards Anthony Davis and the Lakers continuing their partnership for years to come.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers are eligible to give Anthony Davis a maximum contract extension of three years and approximately $170 million today (Friday, Aug. 4), and all indications are that they will do so.

Earlier this week, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on his “Hoop Collective” podcast that there was “an expectation” the Lakers would make a formal offer to Davis this week, and Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times went even further, writing in his Friday newsletter that the team not only wants to get an extension done, but is ready to give Davis the full three years they can on top of the two years (one is an early termination option for 2024-25) still remaining on his last contract signed in 2020:

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. 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.

Again, three years and $170 million may sound like a ton of money — partially because, in normal human terms, it is — but by NBA standards, extending a 30-year-old who is arguably the best defensive player in the league to what would essentially become a five-year, $250 million deal when Jaylen Brown just got $304 million over the same time period from the Celtics despite being unable to dribble with his left hand is really just below the market rate for stars or pseudo stars as NBA money continues to explode with the new TV deal coming down the pipeline.

For those concerned about extending Davis beyond when LeBron James will likely be with the team, that’s a valid concern. At this point, it does seem unlikely that he would be able to be the sole fulcrum of a contender. But he also doesn’t necessarily have to be: As the cap continues to skyrocket, Davis’ deal will either be below market value for his play (allowing the team to get him more and better help) or moveable alongside draft picks as a contract to help them get their next star if he can’t stay healthy in a few years. Even if there is risk to giving him more years, I would argue there is more risk in playing hardball with a star of Davis’ stature, both to the team’s reputation with other stars and to their own locker room chemistry.

It remains to be seen if Davis will just take the money on Friday or if the sides will attempt to negotiate the finer points of this deal over the days and weeks to come before training camp starts on Oct. 3, but given his long-term durability concerns and the Lakers’ desire to keep their momentum rolling with a star who just helped lead them from the play-in to the Western Conference Finals, extending this partnership seems like a no-brainer for both sides, so expect it to get done at some point.

You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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