James’ deal was announced first, with the four-time MVP inking a two-year, $85 million contract through the 2022-23 season on Wednesday. The extension will take him into his age 39/40 season, and yet was a no-brainer for the Lakers, who are coming off a championship in which James was the Finals MVP.
“LeBron James is a transcendent basketball player, and human being,” said vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka in a press release. “LeBron put his trust in the Lakers in 2018, and now this contract extension paves the way for LeBron to further solidify his legacy as an all-time Lakers great. We could not be more honoured by this commitment.”
Davis, who was a free agent this off-season, signed his new deal with the Lakers only hours after James on Thursday morning, opting for a five-year contract worth up to $190 million. Many thought the 27-year-old would sign for two years with a player option for the third season, as that would have given him the most flexibility possible and allowed him to re-enter the market for his next deal having just met the criteria (10 years of service) to earn up to 35 per cent of the cap.
Instead, Davis took the largest contract he could in the present moment — a win for both sides, certainly, but one that also shows trust from Davis in the Lakers organization.
“In the Orlando bubble, Anthony Davis proved he is one of the game’s most complete and dominant two-way players,” Pelinka said of the big man. “Now, Lakers fans get to watch AD continue to grow and lead our franchise for years to come. This is truly a blessed moment for Lakers Nation.”
Both players, it seems, expect to play the rest of (or, at least, most of) their respective careers in purple and gold.