Lakers News: LeBron James Potential New Contract
LeBron James, Bronny James, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It has been an interesting few weeks for Lebron James, who broke the 40,000 career point barrier in a defeat against the Denver Nuggets before hobbling off in another Lakers defeat to the Kings. What should have been a momentous occasion for one of the greatest players in NBA history came in a week where the Lakers continued to show their frailty.

The Lakers have now dropped to around 14th-favorite in the eyes of sportsbook operators regarding championship odds for this season. Bettors can now take prices of up to +5000 for the Lakers to take the title this year.

Betting expert Kane Pepi explains that basketball fans have a wide choice of sportsbooks to choose from in the U.S., with many accepting cryptocurrencies available across the whole country, so even local Lakers fans in California can back their team if they disagree with bookmakers’ opinion that they have only a 2% chance of success this season (source: https://www.valuewalk.com/cryptocurrency/best-bitcoin-sports-betting-sites/). 

While the Lakers are now seen as outsiders this season, fans will still be eager to back their team. Many fans will also be keen to learn how long Lebron James will be wearing the Lakers’ purple and gold in preparation for next year’s betting.

James’s Season So Far

LeBron James hasn’t had the best season of his career, but at 39, he still posts decent averages. His 25.3 point average places him 15th in the NBA this term, with his 8.0 assist average earning him a top-ten place in seventh.

The big news from this season is James’s new career point-scoring record. He is the first player in NBA history to break through the 40,000-point margin.

Concerns about an ankle injury that forced him off against the Kings have been downplayed, and he should still feature prominently for the remainder of the season.

End-of-Season Options

James’ current Lakers contract doesn’t expire until the end of the 2024/25 season, but a $51.4-million player option opens up the door for him to leave at the end of the season on a free. This is highly unlikely, and if he continues with the Lakers or his final year, he will be the first NBA player to make more than $500 million in career earnings.

If he does decide to go, there will be no shortage of teams lining up to welcome him. Not only is he still capable of magic on the court, but the marketing boost alone would make it a wise deal for potential suitors.

Why the Lakers are the Best Choice

One of the biggest reasons that James is likely to stay at the Lakers is money. His impressive contract should be enough to persuade him to stay, and his demands are likely to exceed many teams’ budgets.

The only franchises with the money needed to sign him are the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and Oklahoma City Thunder. None of these are particularly more attractive than what is already on the table.

For now, retirement looks off the cards, with Lebron keen to play alongside his son Bronny James. Whether the younger James decides to draft this season remains to be seen, and LeBron signing a new contract to extend his stay in L.A. would suit all parties.

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