Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Lakers declared their intentions for the 2020 NBA offseason a year ago when they acquired Anthony Davis in a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
When the offseason hits, the 27-year-old should be in line for a mammoth contract with the Western Conference franchise.
Davis is nearing the completion of a five-year, $127 million deal he signed with the Pelicans, and he should have a much larger pay day in his future. According to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register, retaining him is the Lakers’ “top priority.”
While the Chicago native will be the main figure of the NBA offseason, a few other teams face tough decisions with key figures, such as the Washington Wizards and Davis Bertans.
Latest NBA Rumors
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Goon noted “most in league circles believe that work is largely done” on a deal between Davis and the Lakers.
Davis has a few options at his disposal, as he could trigger a $28.7 million player option for the 2020 season and then become a free agent in 2021, or agree to a long-term contract.
There are plenty of factors that will go into finalizing a contract, whether it be a one-year deal or a longer contract, as Goon pointed out:
“Unless there is an extreme scenario, Davis would make less money on his option than he would negotiating a new max salary, but the added leverage of a one-year deal and becoming a free agent in 2021, when a lot of teams have set their sights and budgets, could yield him larger net earnings over the next few years.”
The best-case scenario for the Lakers is to lock down Davis this summer before he hits the open market in 2021, when he could be persuaded away from California.
The Lakers traded a majority of their top young players to New Orleans last summer to acquire Davis, and it would be a blow to the franchise if it gave up so much to have the power forward for a small amount of time.
Los Angeles has already reaped rewards of Davis’ partnership with LeBron James, as it sits on top of the Western Conference on the back of his team-leading 26.7 points per game.
Combining Davis in his prime and James at the back end of his career, along with complementary pieces such as Kyle Kuzma, should put the Lakers in contention to contend for a title for quite some time.
Nick Wass/Associated Press
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, the Wizards “are determined to bring back” Bertans.
The 27-year-old is due for a pay increase after inking a two-year, $14 million contract two years ago with the San Antonio Spurs.
In his first season with the Wizards, Bertans is averaging a career high 15.4 points per game and is shooting 42.4 percent from three-point range.
Rui Hachimura, Jerome Robinson, Troy Brown Jr. and Moritz Wagner are among the players in line to make less than $5 million next season.
If the draft lottery goes to chalk, the Wizards would also have a late top-10 pick to sign to a contract.
If Bertans demands double his current salary or a significant increase, the Wizards would be in good shape within the current constraints of the salary cap.
However, if the cap is altered due to the loss of revenue from the COVID-19 outbreak, Washington could be in a more difficult spot, but that is a situation that will not be figured out immediately.
Kathy Willens/Associated Press
Julius Randle could be a casualty of the new regime in charge of the New York Knicks.
According to the New York Post’s Mark Berman, Knicks president Leon Rose “is certainly open to either dealing Randle or not executing his contract option for the 2021-22 season.”
Berman also reported the Knicks “were willing to move Randle” and discussed a deal with the Charlotte Hornets before the trade deadline.
The 25-year-old landed in New York on a three-year, $62 million deal that pays him $18 million every season, but he has struggled with parts of his game after moving on from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Randle is experiencing a decrease in points per game from 21.4 to 19.5 and three-point percentage from 34.4 to 27.7.
If his frustrating play continues, the Knicks could justify denying the player’s option for the 2021-22 campaign, or move on from him sooner while shaping the team’s new identity.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.
Contract information obtained from Spotrac.