Davis, Lakers agree to 5-year, $190M max deal

NBA

All-NBA forward Anthony Davis is finalizing a five-year, $190 million maximum contract to stay with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, Klutch Sports CEO and Founder Rich Paul told ESPN.

The deal includes an early termination option prior to the fifth year of the deal in 2024-2025, Paul said.

Davis, a free agent, is expected to sign the contract as soon as Thursday. He considered several short and long-term contract scenarios before landing on accepting a full five-year, maximum offer, sources said.

At 27 years old, Davis is the co-star of the Lakers with LeBron James — and the centerpiece of the franchise’s long-term future. His arrival in a trade with New Orleans to join James elevated the Lakers out of six straight seasons in the draft lottery and hurtled them toward an eventual 2019-2020 NBA championship.

For Davis, the new deal completes a journey that started in February of 2019 when Paul requested to the Pelicans that Davis be traded. The blockbuster deal to L.A. executed in June of 2019, his first NBA championship in October and now a five-year deal to secure his future.

Davis’ deal comes in the wake of James extending his deal two-years through 2023-2024.

James and Davis were without glitches in coming together to form a Lakers partnership. Davis averaged 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. He shot 50 percent from the floor, 33 percent from 3-point range and a career-best 84.6 percent from the free-throw line.

“We don’t just look at this at all as a one- or two-year window,” Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said recently. “We want to stay competitive for the long-term and make decisions that allow us to do just that and not just shoot all of our bullets to try and defend for one year. We want to be in a position of being a sustainable contender.”

After seven seasons with the Pelicans, Davis was traded to the Lakers in June for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and multiple first-round picks and pick swaps.

Before winning his first title, Davis was selected as a Western Conference All-Star for the seventh time. He won the game on two foul shots created off a James pass. Davis finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Davis elevated his performance in the postseason, averaging 27.7 points — on 57 percent shooting and 38 percent from the 3-point line — with 9.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals. Davis has started to etch himself into Lakers big man lore, a tradition that’s included George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.

While never finishing better than third in MVP voting in his career, Davis’ averages of 27.2 points and 11.1 rebounds over the last four seasons place him in the company of MVPs. Only Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook — the winners of three of the last four MVP’s in this span — averaged 25-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in this time, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Info.

As devastating as Davis has been offensively, he’s shown himself to be a spectacular defender. Opponents shot 38 percent last season with Davis as the closest defender, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Of the 167 players to defend at least 500 shots last season, only Antetokounmpo allowed a lower percentage.

ESPN NBA reporter Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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