It was only a matter of time until the Los Angeles Lakers signed Anthony Davis to a contract extension. Davis officially could sign an extension on August 4 and the team wasted absolutely no time, signing the star big man to a three-year, $186 million max extension.
Davis had two more years under contract with a player option after the 2023-24 season. The three-year extension keeps him in Los Angeles through the 2027-28 season. He will be 38 years old when his contract expires.
Los Angeles was never going to let Davis hit free agency as he has long been planned to be the superstar heir to LeBron James once he leaves. With this new extension, the Lakers actually made history, giving Davis the highest average annual salary for an extension in NBA history at $62 million.
Lakers make history, sign Anthony Davis to $62 million-per-year extension
Anthony Davis is going to be one of the highest-paid players in the league as he enters his mid-30s. With Davis’ injury history, it is fair for fans to be concerned about paying Davis upwards of $60 million.
That being said, there are two primary reasons why this contract should have been expected and is still a smart move. First is the fact that it is better to pay Davis $62 million a year rather than let him walk for nothing. What is the game plan if Davis walks in free agency? Be mediocre for another decade?
Secondly, the salary cap is expected to grow substantially in the next 5-10 years as the NBA works out a new TV deal. For comparison, the salary cap before it jumped with new TV money in 2015 was $70 million. Now, the salary cap is $136 million. It has nearly doubled. A $60 million contract won’t be as obscure in four years as it is now.
How much is Anthony Davis making each year on his contract extension?
The average annual salary is $62 million but the actual salary differs per year. As a max contract, Davis’ contract is a percentage of the total salary cap, not a concrete number. The $62 million per year number comes via salary-cap projections, which are typically correct (except when the cap goes down because of a global pandemic).
Based on the projections, Anthony Davis’ yearly salary will be as followed (h/t ESPN’s Bobby Marks):
- 2023-24: $40.6 Million
- 2024-25: $43.2 Million
- 2025-26: $57.6 Million
- 2026-27: $62.2 Million
- 2027-28: $66.8 Million
As long as Davis stays healthy and the Lakers can replace LeBron then the team will have a legitimate chance of winning the NBA Championship. This is a well-deserved extension for the big man.