Anthony Davis And The New Orleans Pelicans Agree To Contract Extension

As the clock struck 11:01pm CST General Manager of the New Orleans Pelicans, Dell Demps, promptly offered Anthony Davis and his agency a 5-year/$145 million contract extension. The terms we’re accepted almost immediately as Davis formally becomes the centrepiece for the Pelicans for the next six years.

The move solidifies an assumption many have felt around the organisation that the deal would eventually get done. Davis, it appears is more than happy to continue his upward trajectory alongside new head coach Alvin Gentry who was also in attendance when terms were verbally agreed upon.

Michael McNamara discussed this back in July, 2014 to great detail, about the possibilities of signing Davis to an extension.

Contract Information

Anthony Davis extension structure


Red = Player option

The extension will officially start after the 2015-16 season in which Davis makes $7.07m, and the numbers above are an approximation based on a projected $89 million cap next year. He will have a player option after the fourth year meaning he can opt-out and become an unrestricted free-agent.

The deal makes Davis the Pelicans designated player, meaning that New Orleans could extend Davis on a five-year deal after his rookie contract as opposed to a four-year deal. They can only do this for one player on their roster (they could acquire another player on a designated contract via trade).

In order to receive the total amount of money included in the deal Davis must satisfy one of the three following conditions next season:

  1. Be named to an All-NBA 1st, 2nd or 3rd team
  2. Be voted to start in an All-Star game
  3. Win the MVP

In the unlikely event that he does not, he will not meet the Rose Rule qualifications and the deal will be approximately $20 million smaller over the five years.

The Pelicans Updated Salary Cap Situation

Pelicans current salary cap situaion

Red = player option
Purple = Qualifying Offer
Yellow = Non-Guaranteed

With the extension, the New Orleans Pelicans cap situation for this season does not change with nearly $6m in room (not including cap-holds of Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca etc.)

For 2016-17 the Pelicans will have just over $50m in total guaranteed salaries committed with Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson becoming free-agents. The salary cap is due to go up significantly so they will likely have enough room to operate (depending on what they do this free-agency) to bring in another sizable contract.

Pelicans 2015 Free Agency Resources

New Orleans still has all of their free-agent flexibility for this off-season. Should they re-sign Asik/Ajinca/Cunningham and go over the salary cap – the Pelicans will still have their MLE or BAE at their disposal.

The Future is bright, but the pressure is on to win

It’s been a long time since New Orleans basketball was in this position. They are back to having the sole focus on winning, and the goal is to win it all. Dell Demps and his staff deserve a tonne of credit for getting this done so quickly. After getting Gentry signed, turning this around is highly commendable.

Davis’ intention to stay with the club beyond 2016 means that the Pelicans now become one of the more attractive destinations for free-agents looking to sign long-term. AD’s ascension can only go further with All-Star appearances, All-Team NBA and MVP’s set in his sights.

Demps has assembled a cast of young-veterans all with plenty of room left to grow. The belief is that if the team can remain healthy that their progression can only go up.

The key will be playing together and the only way that can be done is if New Orleans can remain healthy. Holiday, Gordon, Anderson and even Davis have all missed a large amount of games over the past three seasons. Continuity will be a key (despite what others may perceive it as) and luckily that will exist after last seasons playoff appearance.

The roster turnover will be minimal with the Pelicans likely adding only another role player or two. They also will likely look to retain Asik, Cole and Withey who provide much needed depth.

Just as continuity is important, so too is understanding the pressure that is on to produce a winner. The Pelicans and their staff have a big task ahead of them. They need to take lessons from Chris Paul’s time in New Orleans as well as Lebron’s first stint with the Cavaliers. Not winning championships will be intolerable. The Pelicans will have until 2019 to build a sustainable championship contending roster around Davis, and if they fail to do that, Davis will have the power to threaten to opt out the following year, which could force the Pelicans to trade him before they lose him for nothing.

Having said that it is a very exciting time for New Orleans basketball – they will be the talk of the town. After losing Chris Paul, being in financial disrepair, having rumors that they could be moved; the organisation has completely transformed.

They now have a team in the hands of a local owner, have a world class practice facility, have renovated the New Orleans Arena, signed a sponsorship deal for the naming rights for said arena (now Smoothie King Center), hosted another All-Star game, made the playoffs and finally they now have their superstar locked up for the long-term future.

Bright times are ahead for the crescent city.

For more Pelicans free-agency news head to the open-thread which will be updated LIVE for any new information. 

2 responses to “Anthony Davis And The New Orleans Pelicans Agree To Contract Extension”

  1. Now we need one more difference maker in the form of an All Star SF or C and I think we’ll be set. Heck if Jrue was heathy I think we win at least 50 games last year…and pray AD can somehow avoid injuries…he’s been prone to little ones so far each year.

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