Anthony Davis is invaluable to the New Orleans Pelicans. This much became clear as he metamorphosed into the “Monstar” version of himself over the month of February. His value to his team can be calculated as such: 10-game winning streak with a depleted squad. With the numbers Davis is posting, and their translation into crucial wins amidst a bloodbath of a Western Conference, we can expect his off-the-court value to explode in the offseason.
Anthony Davis’s Net Worth as of 2018: $13 million
Let’s take a look at the context.
2012-2013: From Young Champion to Face of the Franchise
Anthony Davis led Kentucky to an NCAA championship in 2012 behind averages of 14.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG, and a wild 4.7 BPG. Anointed NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Davis essentially rested his NBA draft case. Picked #1 by the then-New Orleans Hornets, the unibrowed 19-year-old found himself shouldering the responsibility of leading an entire city to greatness. On July 18, 2012, Davis agreed to an endorsement deal with Nike. Less than a week later, he locked into a guaranteed $16 million over three years–a monster contract for a rookie. Davis made $5.14 million in his first NBA campaign, and was set up to make $5.375 million and then $5.6 million in his next two seasons, respectively.
2013-2015: All-Star Selections and MVP Consideration
Following Davis’s inaugural season, the Hornets rebranded as the Pelicans, and Davis himself rebranded as a double-double machine. Taking his Rookie of the Year snub as motivation, Davis went to work, impressing NBA coaches enough to be selected to replace Kobe Bryant in the 2014 All-Star Game. The Pelicans would miss the playoffs that year, but the season to come would yield Davis’s best NBA averages to date: 24.4 PPG on 53.5 FG%, 10.2 RPG, 2.9 BPG, and 1.5 SPG. In 2014-15, Davis hauled his teammates onto his back; the Pelicans finished the regular season eight games over .500. An 8th seed, they were swept by Golden State in the first round. But a tough series against the eventual world champs brought the best out of AD, who averaged 31.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.0 BPG, and 1.3 SPG over four games. Davis finished fifth in MVP voting that year at 22 years old and made his first All-NBA First Team alongside LeBron James, Marc Gasol, James Harden, and Stephen Curry. In the offseason, Davis earned a record-breaking contract extension, signing onto a five-year, $145 million deal. At the time, it was the richest contract in NBA history.
2015-2016: Injuries and Disappointment
Anthony Davis spent the former half of the 2015-16 season tying and extending career-highs in points and blocks, further validating his status as the most fascinating NBA player under 25. He played in his second career All-Star Game in February 2016, and just a week later set a Pelicans franchise record with 59 points in a game while also becoming the youngest NBA player ever, at 22, to score so many points in a game. In March, Davis was shut down for the season due to nagging knee and shoulder injuries. The Pelicans missed the playoffs, but AD finished the year posting a career-best 3-point field goal percentage at 32.4%, alerting the masses to the continued evolution of his game. But because Davis was neither selected as an All-Star starter nor named to an All-NBA team, he took a $24 million loss according to the stipulations of the contract he signed just ten months prior. He otherwise would have been eligible for 30% of the team’s salary cap.
2016-2017: Frustration and Big Changes
Storming into the 2016-17 season, Anthony Davis posted 50 points, 16 rebounds, 7 steals, 5 assists, and 4 blocks in the opener–a 107-102 loss. Though Davis was putting up Jordan-like numbers, New Orleanians began to worry that AD was growing frustrated with the Pelicans organization and the team’s direction. While Davis would technically be married to New Orleans at least until 2021, nothing could prevent him from demanding a trade. The Pels started 0-8 on the season and would accrue just 23 wins by the All-Star break. But there was upside: voted in by fans as an All-Star starter for the first time, Davis would take his role as host (New Orleans would be the site of All-Star festivities that year) in stride: scoring 52 points in 32 minutes of play, AD broke Wilt Chamberlain’s long-standing All-Star single-game scoring record, and was crowned All-Star MVP. Later that night, Davis was given something (er, someone) else: DeMarcus Cousins. In a shocking sequence of events, Cousins would learn during his postgame press conference that he’d been traded by the Sacramento Kings to the Pelicans. Now paired with another Kentucky-bred, All-NBA superstar center, AD was gifted a 270-pound incentive to stay. The Pelicans would miss the playoffs for a second consecutive year, but AD and Boogie were eager to make their tandem work. And in the end, Davis would see his salary increase by $15 million.
2017-2018: Securing New Bags
Prior to the Pelicans’ season opener, it was announced that Anthony Davis and Nike had negotiated a partnership in the form of a “multi-year shoe deal”. While figures were not released, the agreement has been described as “lucrative”; let’s infer that AD is probably earning somewhere between $3 and $8 million per year from Nike. As the 2017-18 season got rolling, it became clear that AD was well-deserving. He and new teammate Cousins were on pace to be the first pair of teammates to average 25 points and 10 rebounds, both putting up beastly numbers, including a slew of triple-doubles from Boogie. AD and Boogie were dominant, and a perplexing threat to opposing defenses, drawing comparisons to former Spurs David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Stumbling a bit through the first few months of the season, the Pels remained in playoff contention throughout. Finally hitting a healthy stride in January, the Pelicans went 9-3 in the month before Cousins went down with a ruptured Achilles. It was devastating, and a noticeable blow to AD, who for the first time in ages had appeared committed to New Orleans and excited for the future of the franchise. The Pels dropped five games out of six after losing Boogie before Davis reverted to 2015 form. He became the team. Averaging 35.6 points, 13.6 rebounds, 2.9 steals, and 3.1 blocks over a 10-game win streak, AD convinced the NBA to take a closer look at the Pelicans as a Western Conference threat, and at Davis as a potential MVP.
2018-2020: What’s Next?
Having made the 2017 All-NBA First Team and added another All-Star appearance to his resume in 2018, Davis is in pursuit of a Designated Player Extension, which will literally enrich his current contract. AD’s superstar accolades could admit him to an exclusive club only Russell Westbrook and James Harden are a part of. If by next summer AD has made one more All-NBA team (which is pretty much a lock this year) or won an MVP award, he could make $38 million in 2019-20 as opposed to the $27 million he is projected to make. He’d soon enough be qualified to sign the coveted Super Max, earning 35% of the Pelicans’ salary cap for the subsequent five seasons. But can Anthony Davis be convinced to commit another five years to New Orleans?
So How Much Is He Really Worth?
We can’t say for certain. Apart from Nike, Davis has deals with Red Bull, H&R Block, and 2K Sports, according to Forbes, which reports his yearly salary at $25.4 million. According to How Richest, which offers the most recent report, AD is worth $13 million. The figure may seem conservative, and it probably is: we don’t have the intel on his endorsement salaries. But we can only expect Anthony Davis to get richer–he hasn’t even reached the prime of his basketball career.