NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed on a five-year extension worth more than $140 million.
Davis tweeted: “NOLA, I am here to stay! Just getting started” shortly after free agency opened late Tuesday night, and a person with knowledge of the details confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot yet be signed.
The 22-year-old Davis is entering the final season of a four-year contract he signed after being drafted first overall out of Kentucky in 2012. He had until Oct. 31 to accept the offer or could have become a restricted free agent next offseason.
Davis averaged 24.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks this season. The exact value of his extension, which includes a player option for the final year, can’t be determined until the salary cap has been set next week.
The Pelicans have made no secret of their plan to build around the 6-foot-10 Davis, who is faster than most players his size, can score from inside and outside, and changes games defensively with his shot-blocking and rebounding.
He has been named an All-Star twice in his first three pro seasons. He also won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team in 2012 shortly after winning a national title with Kentucky, and led the Americans to another gold at the Basketball World Cup last summer.
Next season, he’ll be playing for new Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, who has said he intends to introduce a faster-paced offense with Davis as the focal point. Gentry, who recently won an NBA championship as an assistant with Golden State, gained additional familiarity with Davis during the first round of the playoffs, when Davis averaged 31.5 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in four games against the Warriors.
“We’re going to play a lot faster and give (Davis) an opportunity to be in the open court,” Gentry said last week. “He is our best player and a lot of things are going to be built around him. I think he’s a real versatile player.”
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