Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis wanted to protect against a career-threatening injury with his new contract. Though Davis considered signing a two- or three-year deal with the Lakers, injury concerns convinced Davis to take a five-year, $190 million deal with the team, according to ESPN.
Davis admitted as much Friday, saying his injury history influenced him to secure a big deal now.
"That could have been a two-year, three-year deal," Davis told reporters on a video conference call Friday. "[But] I have to think about, also, the reality of things, too. I do have a little history with injuries, and a two-year deal, you kind of bet on yourself. ... God forbid, knock on wood, something happens."
Davis has never made it through a full NBA season without missing a game. With the New Orleans Pelicans, Davis played in 466 out of a possible 574 games due to various injuries, according to ESPN. Davis missed nine games last season — his first with the Lakers — due to shoulder and tailbone issues. He was able to play in all 21 of the Lakers’ postseason games, but dealt with an ankle injury that required six hours of treatment prior to Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Those bumps and bruises convinced Davis to “secure the most amount of years possible.”
Anthony Davis commits to Lakers long term
While it’s easy to assume Davis was always going to take the biggest deal, that’s not necessarily the case. Some analysts were unsure whether Davis would commit to the Lakers once LeBron James’ contract ended. James initially signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers in 2018. That contract would have taken James through the 2021-22 NBA season. James, however, agreed to a two-year, $85 million extension Wednesday that keeps him under contract with the Lakers through the 2022-23 NBA season.
Davis could have stayed on the same free-agent timeline as James by taking a three-year deal with the Lakers, but instead opted to commit to Los Angeles for two additional seasons. Those final years could come without James, who could leave the Lakers or retire when he hits the market after the 2022-23 NBA season.
Though that adds some uncertainty to the end of Davis’ new deal, the tradeoff was probably worth it. You don’t turn down $190 million because a 38-year-old free agent might leave the Lakers three years from now.
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