Even after winning a championship, the Los Angeles Lakers have had arguably the most successful offseason of any team, adding younger and more talent to their roster in hopes of repeating in 2021.
Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka made it clear that he did not want to be complacent, and then he backed those words up by adding Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol and Wesley Matthews to an already talented core.
It appears that aggressiveness to improve a championship roster sat well with the team’s biggest star, LeBron James. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, James is signing a two-year maximum extension that keeps him with the Lakers through the 2022-23 season:
LeBron James‘ two-year, $85M max extension with the Los Angeles Lakers runs through 2022-23 season, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. James‘ 36th birthday is on Dec. 30. https://t.co/MAF7WjxSWs
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 2, 2020
James was entering the final year of the original max contract he signed with the Lakers before the 2018-19 season. It did have a player option for the 2021-22 season that most had been assuming would be declined, allowing the megastar to test free agency for perhaps a final time.
James is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, averaging 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and a league-leading 10.2 assists. He finished second to Giannis Antetokounmpo in the MVP voting, but showed in the playoffs that he’s still the best player in the NBA by leading the Lakers to a championship and winning Finals MVP.
James typically hasn’t been one to commit to organizations longterm, so his signing of this extension shows the trust he has in Pelinka and the Lakers’ brass moving forward, and for good reason after winning a championship in his second year with the team.
His new contract with the Lakers runs through 2022-23, which is when James’ son Bronny graduates from high school. James has said on multiple occasions that he would like to end his career playing with his son if he makes the NBA.
Davis held meeting with Lakers
Now that James is locked up long-term, the next order of business for Pelinka and the Lakers is doing the same for Anthony Davis, who is a free agent but has shown no signs that he plans to leave.
Davis and his agent Rich Paul reportedly met with the Lakers on Tuesday, so his signing could come at any time, and likely will be a similar contract length to James.
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