NEW ORLEANS -- With star forward Anthony Davis eligible for a contract extension this summer, Pelicans officials plan to be as aggressive as possible in presenting him with a maximum five-year deal that could exceed $140 million, according to league sources.
The exact figures will depend on how much the NBA salary cap actually rises in 2016, but sources told ESPN.com that the Pelicans indeed intend to present Davis with the biggest offer they can once the window for negotiations opens July 1.
The Pelicans would then have until Oct. 31 to convince Davis to sign a five-year deal that makes him their designated player.
Davis, 22, just joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bob McAdoo as the only players in league history to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in their first four NBA playoff games. The Pelicans' season ended with Saturday night's Game 4 home loss to Golden State, but the Pelicans surprised many pundits by beating the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on the final day of the regular season to clinch a playoff berth ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 45-37 record.
Because Davis was elected by the fans to start in February's All-Star Game, and since he is expected to earn All-NBA first-team honors when voting results are announced soon, New Orleans will have the ability to include a provision in the deal that entitles Davis to start his max deal at 30 percent of the league's salary cap as opposed to a mere 25 percent provided he is an All-Star starter or makes All-NBA next season as well.
And thanks to the league's most recent salary cap projections -- which will spike dramatically when money starts flowing in from the NBA's new nine-year, $24 billion TV deal that kicks in starting with the 2016-17 season -- Davis is on course to be presented with a five-year offer that will eventually top $30 million annually and potentially stray north of the $140 million mark in total value.
If Davis signs the five-year extension, it would also start in 2016-17 and run through his 28th birthday.
Davis, of course, would have the option of signing a shorter extension with the Pelicans to preserve some flexibility in his future options in free agency.
New Orleans, like all teams, has the right to bestow designated player status on only one player. If Davis indeed goes the five-year route and becomes a designated player, he'd fill that slot for the Pelicans, who would not be allowed to designate another player as long as Davis was on their roster and his extension is still in effect, but would be allowed to trade for another team's designated player.
ESPN.com's Larry Coon contributed to this report.