According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to extend the contract with LeBron James for two years for $ 97.1 million. This deal will allow LeBron to stay in Los Angeles for the 2024/25 season, when he turns 40. However, he will have the option of choosing a player in the last year of the contract.
If there is a significant increase in the salary cap in the 2023-2024 season, when the extension begins, it could rise to $111 million. Despite this, the agreement brought LeBron more than $532 million in guaranteed money for his career, which allowed him to bypass Kevin Durant and become the new NBA player of all time.
While James doesn’t have a no-trade clause, his contract includes a 15 percent kicker, which combined with his starting salary of $46.7 million and status as the most influential player in the game means he’s likely to stay with the Lakers that long. as he wishes.
Will it be until the end of his career? Perhaps, but it’s worth noting that with his player option for 2024-2025, his contract situation now matches that of Anthony Davis. In addition, LeBron has made it clear that he intends to play with his son Bronnie for at least one season. Bronnie will be eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft, and LeBron could become a free agent this summer. There will probably be significant changes in Los Angeles this summer, which means the Lakers now have a two-year window to win with LeBron and Davis.
Whether they will be able to do this is still unknown. The team is coming out of a disastrous 2021-2022 campaign in which they faced injuries and a poor roster and finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record. That score was the worst since LeBron arrived in 2018, and not even good enough for a tournament play-in. It was clear that changes were needed.
In the summer, they fired Frank Vogel and hired Darwin Ham as their new head coach and tried to give the squad youth and athleticism. They will also bet on improving the health of LeBron and Davis, who played only 50 and 46 games last season, respectively. However, none of this will matter if they can’t find a groom for Russell Westbrook. The exchange of a disgruntled guard who simply does not fit into the composition turned out to be a difficult task. The Lakers have been doing this all summer and haven’t been able to find a deal.
Whatever happens with the Westbrook saga, we can expect the usual outcome from LeBron. He completes another stellar individual season, in which he spent the 18th time in a row participating in the All-Star Games and in the third NBA team. His 30.3 points per game was his highest since 2008, when he was still in his first appearance for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he added 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists to match his impressive output.