Anthony Davis agrees to 5-year deal to return to Lakers

Anthony Davis agrees to 5-year deal to return to Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis slams a dunk against the Miami Heat during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Floprida, in this Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, file photo. (AP)
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Updated 04 December 2020

Anthony Davis agrees to 5-year deal to return to Lakers

Anthony Davis agrees to 5-year deal to return to Lakers
  • LeBron James had earlier agreed to a two-year, $85 million contract extension with the Lakers
  • Davis excelled throughout his first season with the Lakers, averaging 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 blocks per game

LOS ANGELES: Anthony Davis finalized a five-year contract worth up to $190 million to return to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
One day after LeBron James agreed to a two-year, $85 million contract extension with the Lakers through 2022-23, Davis committed to the Lakers through the 2024-25 season. Agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who represents both Davis and James, confirmed the terms of both deals to The Associated Press.
General manager Rob Pelinka announced both of his All-NBA first-team superstars had agreed to new contracts Thursday night without disclosing their terms. James and Davis won an NBA championship in the first season of their partnership, and Los Angeles is back to work in training camp this week with a solid chance to repeat.
“In the Orlando bubble, Anthony Davis proved he is one of the game’s most complete and dominant two-way players,” Pelinka said in a statement. “Now, Lakers fans get to watch and continue to grow and lead our franchise for years to come.”
Pelinka also called James “a transcendent basketball player and human being. 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 honored by this commitment.”
Davis’ deal includes an early termination clause prior to the fifth year, but the lengthy contract is still a clear declaration that the 27-year-old Davis sees his long-term future with the 17-time NBA champions.
The Lakers acquired Davis in a trade less than 18 months ago, shipping most of their young core to New Orleans to acquire one of the best big men of his generation. Davis made the All-NBA first team three times and earned six straight All-Star selections with the Pelicans, but only reached the second round of the playoffs once.
With Klutch clients James and Davis at their center, the Lakers immediately built a championship contender around them last season. The 6-foot-10 Davis swiftly clicked alongside James, who molded himself into a point guard and led the NBA in assists to maximize the talent of Davis, who earned his seventh straight All-Star selection and his fourth All-NBA first-team nod.
James and Davis reteamed in the bubble in central Florida and led Los Angeles to the title. The Lakers had missed the playoffs for six straight seasons before their dynamic duo transformed the franchise into champions again, beating the Miami Heat in six games in the NBA Finals.
While James won his fourth NBA championship, Davis became the eighth player in basketball history to win an NCAA championship, an Olympic gold medal and an NBA ring.
“Watching AD and LeBron, everything they did was together,” said Dwight Howard, who won a ring with the Lakers before moving on to Philadelphia as a free agent last month. “They worked out together, they ate together, they rolled dice together. We called them The Brothers. They were always together, playing video games, doing something.
“Even though there was games where LeBron was having triple-doubles, he made sure he fed AD and AD got off,” Howard added. “I just think when you have two guys like that who are willing to do whatever it takes to win, it brings up the morale of the team. They put everything on their shoulders. They knew they had guys around them, but it was, ‘OK, LeBron. OK, AD. We’ve got to do this. It starts with us. We’ve got to be on the same page at all times.’ They did a really good job with it.”

The Lakers are returning with a roster around James and Davis that looks even better than last season’s championship squad. NBA veterans Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell have replaced Howard and JaVale McGee to keep Davis out of the center spot during the regular season, while Wesley Matthews replaced inconsistent Danny Green on the wing and gifted point guard Dennis Schröder arrived to take ball-handling pressure off James.
Davis was never expected to leave the Lakers after he declined a $28.7 million player option to become a free agent last month, but many league observers thought Davis would go for a shorter contract to maximize his mobility, as is the preference of many modern stars and Klutch clients.
Instead, Davis chose the longest possible contract, albeit with an opt-out after four years. If Davis had set up his deal to become a free agent in 2022, he could have re-signed to receive a starting salary worth 35% of the team’s salary cap.
In truth, the differences between his current contract and that hypothetical deal are only a few million dollars — and for Davis, security with a title contender clearly was worth a few million.
Davis will make more than $32.7 million this season, more than $35 million next season and nearly $38 million in 2022-23. The fourth year of the contract is worth about $40 million, and the fifth year would be worth more than $43 million.
Davis excelled throughout his first season with the Lakers, averaging 26.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 blocks per game.
Along with hitting 50% of his shots and a career-high 84.6% of his free throws, Davis was a dominant presence in the paint and on the wing throughout the year while the Lakers played the Western Conference’s stingiest defense. Davis finished second to Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the NBA’s defensive player of the year voting.
Davis was even better in the playoff bubble, averaging 27.7 points 9.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 blocks. He hit 57% of his shots and 38% of his 3-pointers, including a remarkable game-winning 3 at the buzzer in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against Denver.
Although the Lakers’ massive fan base couldn’t attend their latest championship run, Davis is already cementing a spot among the franchise’s greatest big men, a proud lineage stretching from George Mikan and Wilt Chamberlain through Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.
Davis spent his first seven NBA seasons as the centerpiece of the Pelicans, but he could only lead them to two playoff appearances, and he requested a trade in February 2019. The players traded from Los Angeles to New Orleans for Davis included Brandon Ingram, who got a five-year, $158 million deal from the Pelicans last month, and playmaker Lonzo Ball.


Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup

Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup
Updated 53 min 45 sec ago

Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup

Messi sent off, Athletic beats Barca in Spanish Super Cup
  • Iñaki Williams' goal in extra time gave Athletic the lead and a come-from-behind win

MADRID: Lionel Messi lost his cool after another Barcelona collapse on Sunday, hitting an opponent away from the ball and being sent off for the first time while playing with the Catalan club in the team’s 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Spanish Super Cup.
Iñaki Williams' goal in extra time gave Athletic the lead and a come-from-behind win. Barcelona had little chance of recovering when Messi swung his right arm toward the head of an Athletic player while trying to free himself. Messi was shown the red card following a video review.
The card came in his 753rd appearance with Barcelona. He has been sent off twice with Argentina, including in his national team debut in 2005. The other red card with Argentine came in the 2019 Copa America.
Messi could face a lengthy suspension for his ejection on Sunday.
After Athletic scored in the 90th minute to seal a 2-2 draw and force extra time, Williams netted the title-clinching goal with a neat curling shot from just inside the area, with the ball hitting the far post before going into the top corner.
“Because of what it meant for the team, this is the best goal of my career,” Williams said.
The goal three minutes into extra time secured Athletic its third Super Cup title, and first since it beat Barcelona in the 2015 final. The Basque Country club also won the title in 1984.
Barcelona was seeking its 15th Super Cup title, and third in the last five seasons. It was also looking to end its title drought after going without a trophy last season, something that hadn't happened since 2007-08. The team got off to a slow start this season and trails Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in the Spanish league.
Messi, who asked to leave Barcelona in the offseason but had his request denied, had been doubtful to play in the final because of an unspecified fitness issue that had caused coach Ronald Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, when Barcelona prevailed in a penalty shootout.
He helped set up Antoine Griezmann's first goal on Sunday but was far from his best throughout the match at the La Cartuja Stadium in Seville.
Barcelona opened the scoring with a shot from the middle of the area by Griezmann in the 40th minute but Athletic equalized two minutes later with a close-range strike by Óscar de Marcos after a well-placed cross by Williams. Griezmann put Barcelona ahead with another shot from inside the area in the 77th but Athletic evened the match again with Asier Villalibre finding the net following a set piece in the 90th.
Villalibre was the player hit by Messi in the final minutes as the players tangled together outside the area. The ball was already on the left side of the area when the incident happened.
Athletic, which beat defending champion Real Madrid 2-1 in the other semifinal, had a 57th-minute goal disallowed by video review because of offside following a header by Raúl García, who had netted twice in the semifinal.
The final was the third match in charge for Athletic coach Marcelino García Toral. His debut had been against Barcelona in a league game at home, when Messi scored twice to help the Catalan club recover from an early goal by Williams and secure a 3-2 victory.
“The players deserve all the credit for this achievement,” the new coach said. “They defeated Real Madrid and Barcelona to be able to win this trophy.”
Accompanying the Athletic squad in Seville was Aritz Aduriz, the club’s former striker who was forced to retire last season because of a hip injury.
When Athletic defeated Barcelona in 2015, the Spanish Super Cup final was still played in two legs between the Spanish league and Copa del Rey winners.
This year’s edition was moved to southern Spain after the coronavirus pandemic stopped it from being played in Saudi Arabia for a second straight season. The tournament’s revamped Final Four format includes the top two finishers in the Spanish league and the finalists of the Copa del Rey from the previous season.