The other goal was for Daivs to lead the Lakers into the post-LeBron era in Los Angeles. The Lakers just paid Davis to do that, giving him a three-year, $186 million extension beyond the two years on his contract, keeping Davis tied to the Lakers through 2018, a story broken by Andrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The three years of the extension go beyond the two years, $84 million the Lakers already owe Davis.
That three-year extension averages $62 million a year over the course of the deal and is the richest extension in NBA history (at least until next summer). While the Lakers gave Davis an eye-popping number, welcome to the new NBA and its CBA, where salaries will skyrocket over the next five or more years.
Anthony Davis averaged 25.9 points a game on 56.3% shooting while pulling down 12.5 rebounds a game last season and, when healthy, being one of the elite defensive big men in the game. The health is the concern, he played 56 games last season, 40 the season before that, 32 the season before that, and has never played more than 62 games a season since coming to the Lakers. When healthy, Davis is an unquestionable All-NBA level talent, but the Lakers need to practice load maintenance and have other bigs with him who can shoulder some of that burden. (There are reports the Lakers are thinking of going back to a two-big lineup this season playing Davis more at the four during the regular season in an effort to keep him on the court more.)
There are also questions if Davis is the guy to lead the Lakers into whatever comes after LeBron decides to step away — the question isn’t talent but rather if Davis is a true No. 1 option and a leader on a title contender.
The Lakers just bet big money Davis can be that, or at least be part of the transition to whatever that future holds.