LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have an ideal partnership as the former is the NBA’s most recognizable face and the latter is the league’s marquee franchise.
Even though the Lakers flamed out during the 2021-22 season, they still drew massive audiences with James on the floor. However, the two sides now wade through some uncertainty over the future as the superstar is eligible for an extension.
While the thought of James bolting the next summer is harrowing for the Purple and Gold, there’s a belief that they’ll eventually come to an agreement to stay together in the short-term, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“All signs point toward both sides looking to extend their partnership together. It’s already led to one championship in 2020. It’s also led to two playoff appearances where they didn’t make it, but overall I think both sides recognize that they can help one another get to their mutual goal, which is to compete at a high level and stay relevant as both one of the best players in the NBA and one of the most marquee franchises in the NBA.”
For James, playing for the Lakers certainly has its benefits as their brand and reach ensure he is relevant in a big market until he decides to retire. For Los Angeles, employing the 38-year-old means they can never be counted out from making a deep playoff run and ultimately adding another banner in Crypto.com Arena.
James’ agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports and Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations Rob Pelinka have reportedly had productive talks on an extension, but there doesn’t seem to be a rush to sign anything. Perhaps James is waiting to see how the roster looks before the season starts, but he and his camp have not given off any signs that he intends to leave.
When James will ultimately sign an extension is anyone’s guess, but there’s room for optimism that he’ll remain a Laker for the foreseeable future.
Kyrie Irving comfortable staying with Nets for 2022-23 season
One major domino left to fall is Kyrie Irving, who seemed destined to be traded to L.A. after Kevin Durant requested a trade. However, the Brooklyn Nets have yet to budge on a deal and now Irving is reportedly willing to remain with the team for the 2022-23 campaign.
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