Anthony Davis didn’t hesitate.
Literally, the minute he was allowed to, the New Orleans Pelicans’ superstar forward agreed to a five-year contract extension with the franchise worth upwards of $145 million.
“NOLA, I am here to stay,” Davis tweeted. “Just getting started… #6MoreYears #TakeFlight”
Davis posted a photo of himself flanked by Pelicans general manager Dell Demps and coach Alvin Gentry, along with agent Thad Foucher. He added the hashtag #6moreyears and the Pelicans’ official slogan, #TakeFlight.
Davis sent the message loud and clear to the rest of the NBA that he’s the cornerstone piece to the future of the franchise. The contract, per multiple sources close to the agreement, will give him a player option for the fifth year, meaning he can’t enter free agency until the summer of 2020.
The move was first reported by Yahoo Sports.
The team was not allowed to officially discuss the deal with Davis until 11 p.m. Tuesday — and over a meal in Beverly Hills, California, a minute was apparently all it took to lock in the biggest possible coup of the team’s offseason.
The deal begins for the 2016-17 season, as Davis will play out the final year of his rookie contract for $7 million this upcoming season. He is still eligible for the “Derrick Rose Rule,” which allows for him to occupy 30 percent of the team’s salary cap.
Regardless of the details, the big picture is Anthony Davis is staying in New Orleans for the foreseeable future.
“We have Anthony Davis and they don’t,” Gentry said last week. “That’s about as good of an advantage as we can ever have on anyone.”