Rare Air

Expect Pelicans’ value to soar with Anthony Davis’ contract extension

 

 

A special Thank You from @antdavis_23! Ready for October!

Posted by New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, July 9, 2015

 

 

In business, nothing is done until the dotted line is signed. This week, the New Orleans Pelicans handled their business by penning All-Star forward Anthony Davis to a contract extension that will keep him in the Crescent City for the next six years.

Per team policy, the Pelicans did not disclose terms of the deal, however ESPN is reporting the five-year extension is worth at an estimated $145 million, making it the richest contract in NBA history. Davis still has a year left on his rookie deal, so the extension will begin with the 2016-17 season and run through the 2020-21 season (when he’ll be just 28).

It’s great news for the city’s sports fans, and a bit eye opening for many long-time New Orleans sports fans to see Tom Benson, owner of the Pelicans and Saints, flash the cash he has with his two franchises’ megastars – Davis and Drew Brees. But after seeing the Saints’ value skyrocket after winning the Super Bowl in 2010, he’s looking to do the same with his basketball team. In the year before wining the Lombardi Trophy, Forbes’ annual NFL Team Valuations pegged the Saints worth at $942 million. Now the team is valued at $1.11 billion.

Team management has made Davis the face of the Pelicans, much as Brees is the face of the Saints. Both are among the best in their sports, posses the ability to bring top free agent talent to town and have a friendly demeanor coveted by branding and advertising companies.

Benson paid $340 million for the Pels in 2012. In Forbes’ annual NBA Team Valuations, the franchise’s value remained the same in 2013, but has soared since to $420 million in 2014 and $650 million in January 2015. With a playoff appearance this year and Davis’ long-term deal, expect their value to continue to increase.

“Words cannot describe the excitement of the New Orleans Pelicans to have Anthony Davis as the cornerstone of our organization,” Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps said in a team release announcing the deal’s completion. “Anthony is a great person, a phenomenal player and the ideal representative of his family, the Pelicans and the New Orleans community.

“We are thrilled to have Anthony commit to the Pelicans as we continue to build our team to have sustained success.”

In his first three seasons in the NBA, after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis has two All-Star Game appearances and is already included among the league’s top three players along with LeBron James and Kevin Durant. He has appeared in 199 games, averaging 19.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.5 blocks per game. And experts only expect him to get better as he enters the prime of his career.

With new head coach Alvin Gentry focused on maximizing Davis’ potential, it appears the Pelicans are ready to take their shot at a championship or more as their window of opportunity is still opening.

“I am very excited to continue to play for the Pelicans and remain a proud resident of the City of New Orleans,” Davis said at the signing ceremony. “I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Benson, Dell Demps, Coach Gentry, the entire Pelicans’ organization, my agent Thad Foucher, my family and, of course, all of the incredible fans for their unwavering support. I look forward to many great years together.”

 

 

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