Anthony Davis joined the Los Angeles Lakers before the start of the 2019-20 NBA season, the result of a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. That season was suspended for more than four months because of the Covid-19 pandemic. When play finally resumed, Davis, LeBron James, and the rest of the Lakers ultimately won the championship.
The Lakers haven't been back to the NBA Finals since, but after a strong end to this past season, they're feeling good about their chances. That means signing one of their stars to a massive contract extension.
Davis and the Lakers agreed to a three-year, $186 million deal to keep Davis in L.A. through the 2027-28 season. The team will now pay Davis $270 million over the next five years. Davis will average $62 million per season in the new deal, which is the largest annual contract extension the league has ever seen.
Davis became eligible to sign his extension on Friday and didn't wait long to make it happen. He opted for financial security over the potential to make even more money by taking shorter deals — something his teammate has done with great success.
Despite the franchise's championship in 2020, things weren't nearly as rosy the next two years. The Lakers barely made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the 2020-21 season, losing in six games in the first round to the Phoenix Suns. The following year was even worse, as the Lakers missed the postseason entirely. Davis sat out more than half of his team's games due to various injuries, appearing in just 76 of a possible 154 contests.
The deal is also big news for Rich Paul. He represents both Davis and James (who's signed through next year and then has a player option in 2024-25) and has secured close to $370 million for the two L.A. stars. The NBA has a rule that caps agent fees at 4% for veteran players, so Paul will make about $14.8 million simply from these two contracts alone. His overall client roster is extensive — his players will earn a collective $500 million this upcoming season.
The Lakers are investing in Davis for the long term. Now, his goal is to help the franchise add another championship banner (or several) to its rafters.