At midnight last night, NBA teams were allowed to begin negotiations with their players. One minute after that, the Pelicans and Anthony Davis agreed to a max extension that could keep the 22-year-old star center in New Orleans through 2021. One minute after that, Davis announced the news:
The deal will kick in for the 2016-17 season and is, for now, the NBA’s biggest contract: an estimated $145 million over five years. The exact figure won’t be known for a year, because as a max extension, it’ll be a percentage of the cap rather than a hard figure. That’s good news for Davis—the NBA’s cap is expected to skyrocket next summer with an influx of TV money.
Players can earn 30 percent of the cap as opposed to 25 percent if they start their contract with two All-Star Game starts, two All-NBA first-team appearances, or an MVP award under their belts. Davis has one each of the first two, and barring disaster should reach the 30-percent threshold this season.
Davis has a player option for the fifth year on his deal, so he could elect to enter free agency in 2020. But he’ll be off the market for next summer’s spendapalooza, and the Pelicans will have a generational big man for the prime of his prime.