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Report: Anthony Davis to decline player option, become unrestricted free agent

Lakers PF is expected to re-sign in Los Angeles on a new deal once free agency begins next week.

Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during the trophy ceremony during Game Six of the NBA Finals on October 11, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers PF Anthony Davis will officially decline his $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported Sunday evening. It had previously been reported that Davis planned on declining his player option for this upcoming season in order to sign a new deal with the Lakers. Free agency is set to begin on Friday at 6 p.m. ET with teams interviewing players. Davis can sign his new deal with the Lakers after noon on Sunday.

Davis helped lead the Lakers to the 2020 championship, his first title in the NBA. AD had been acquired by the Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans before last season in a blockbuster trade. He averaged 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds over 62 games during the regular season in 2019-20. Davis was named to his seventh straight All-Star game, fourth All-NBA team and fourth All-Defensive team. He came just short of winning Defensive Player of the Year.

During 21 playoff games, Davis averaged 27.7 points and 9.7 rebounds, carrying the Lakers at times during the run. L.A. just agreed to a trade in principle for Thunder G Dennis Schroder for the No. 28 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. After Davis signs his new deal, the Lakers will have a third wheel to add to LeBron James.

This doesn’t really affect the Lakers’ title odds at all. They sit as the favorite at +350 and unless Davis has a change of heart — which would be shocking — the Lakers will retain the All-Star on a max deal, likely four years with an option. I do think the League will be more competitive in 2020-21 with Kevin Durant returning for the Nets and the Warriors getting 100 percent healthy. That isn’t to say the Lakers shouldn’t be favorites, but we’ll see the odds shift after free agency and the NBA Draft next week.