Anthony Davis is sure to be the starting point for the New Orleans Pelicans, but that could come to an end. Although his contract runs from the year 2021, last year is a player option, meaning that Davis could become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. If he so wishes, New Orleans would consider trading with him so as not to have to see her franchise foundation gone in vain. Kevin O'Konnor of The Ringer wrote a fantastic piece examining the specifics of Davis' decision and its potential impact on the rest of the NBA.
The traditional argument for any superstar staying with his current team is the Supermax contract, but O & Connor calculates that the difference may not be significant enough to influence Davis' decision:
The Supermax is not great. It does not offer Davis much more than he can earn if traded elsewhere under his current contract …
Between 2019-20 and 2024-25, Davis can earn $ 266.6 million with the Pelicans, compared to $ 252.3 million with a team that acts for him; that's a difference of $ 14.3 million or just $ 2.4 million per season. The differential could change depending on how much the upper limit increases, but in any case the discrepancy ranges from moderate to tiny.
O'Connor goes into more detail. He also assures that long-term guaranteed security is that Davis will stay with the Pelicans, but he speculates that Davis can follow the path of LeBron James, who insists on short-term contracts anyway and makes the point contentious.
O'Connor lists possible claimants, most prominently the Boston Celtics, but also speculates that an event still to be developed could influence the process: [149 May] The 14th of May, Night of the NBA Draft Lottery 2019, could be one of the most important events in the recent league story. Not only will it determine the target of Duke Prospect, and probably not. I select Zion Williamson, but also plays a central role in determining Davis fate. The Lakers may be Davis' preference, but they do not have as many assets as other teams. Given their current pace (20-14) they have nothing to win the lottery night. A team that lands a top pick could take pole position for Davis.
He offers the Knicks and Sixers (who receive the Sacramento's pick when it lands first in the draft lottery) as teams that could enter the raffle on a ping. Pong balls kick off properly.
The Los Angeles Lakers receive a separate section of the article as they are a target of mutual attraction.
O & Connor concludes offering Davis as a test case for the feasibility of the flow rate agreement and the Supermax provision.
Fans of Blazers should watch this play to understand the landscape around Davis and the potential impact on other great free agents. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have the potential to become free agents in 2021.