While LeBron James’ future with the Los Angeles Lakers is unclear, it has become evident that the team is committing to Anthony Davis in the long run. Reports surfaced that the Lakers are expected to sign Davis to a max extension before training camp, keeping him from being a free agent after the 2023-24 season.
There are some concerns with signing Davis to an extension. He has not had the cleanest bill of health and his injury woes are not going to get better as he gets deeper into his 30s. All that being said, the Lakers can’t let a superstar simply walk away, as that would be even sillier.
Instead, Los Angeles may look to take the same approach that the team did with Kobe Bryant and find AD another superstar to contend with once LeBron leaves. The hope is that it won’t take as long as it took to bring Pau Gasol to LA and chances are that it won’t, as AD’s next superstar teammate in LA seems painfully obvious.
The stars are aligning for Jayson Tatum to join Anthony Davis on the Lakers.
C’mon now, Jayson Tatum has not been shy about his Lakers fandom at all during his time in the league and the stars are aligning perfectly for him to eventually ditch the Boston Celtics once the current window closes.
And while the team is a contending team now, there are some long-term question marks in Boston. The fact that Jaylen Brown still hasn’t signed an extension is concerning and the front office is very obviously going all-in on the next two years by trading for Kristaps Porzingis.
Once this window closes, Tatum may look around and while the Celtics could offer him more money, without a championship, he might take the leap to go play for his favorite team and have a chance to win a title there.
Tatum has a player option after the 2024-25 season and at that point, LeBron James’ contract will be completely off the books (even if he opts into his player option next summer). That opens a sizeable amount of money for the Lakers to sign a star.
D’Angelo Russell will be off the books while Rui Hachimura and Gabe Vincent will be on expiring contracts. The Lakers will absolutely have the maneuverability to bring Tatum in, especially after getting such a good price on Austin Reaves’ four-year deal.
At that point, Tatum will still only be entering his age-27 season, which is only one year older than Davis was when he joined the Lakers. He will be even more polished as a player and will be ready to play another decade with his favorite team and hopefully keep the cycle moving.
Like Davis, Tatum could contend initially with an older star and then once AD eventually does leave, the Lakers could bring in the next great young superstar to play with Tatum. In a perfect world, the Lakers would be able to keep this conveyor belt moving to win as many titles as possible. The key is Jayson Tatum.