LeBron James’ contract extension gives the Los Angeles Lakers some clarity on their future — which will now entail making the most of the four-time NBA champion’s remaining time with the franchise.
James agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million extension with a player option for the 2024-25 season. The 37-year-old will don Purple and Gold for at least another two years, expecting to compete for the championship during that time. Vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka reportedly promised James to make the Lakers competitive for as long as he is with the team.
L.A.’s title prospects seem to have been the 18-time All-Star’s only concern before putting pen to paper as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports there’s no other place in the NBA he would rather be:
I think for LeBron James, the timing right now — listen, this is where he wants to be. There’s nobody who potentially would have cap space next summer that would interest LeBron James to even look at free agency. And listen, at 37 years old, he’ll be 38 in December, you know, still at the very top of his game. And with this contract now, $532 million in career earnings that surpasses Kevin Durant’s guaranteed deal, he’s now the highest earning player in the history of the game. You know, his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, they finalized the terms of the deal, really just in the last hour. And now LeBron James [is] under contract with a player option through 2024-25.
Other reports claim that James’ insistence on improving the roster and trading for Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving this summer played a factor while he pondered signing the contract extension.
The Lakers are now reportedly willing to part with both their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to acquire Irving, although the Nets don’t appear to be interested in the deal.
James responds to rumors about son Bronny’s future
While James has committed his future to the Lakers, his son, Bronny, is yet to decide on the next step in his career with high school graduation looming large.
Recent reports claimed Oregon emerged as the front-runner to land the 6-foot-3 Sierra Canyon guard. However, LeBron quickly shot down the rumors. “He hasn’t taken one visit yet and has only had a few calls with coaches and universities,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
“When Bronny makes his choice you’ll hear it from him.”
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