Rob Pelinka & Lakers Remain Committed To LeBron James; Willing To Offer Max Contract
LeBron James, Lakers, Nuggets
Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Since 2019, the Los Angeles Lakers have built around the superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis to varying degrees of success. The duo led the Lakers to the championship in 2020 but has struggled to compete consistently since and now general manager Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office are committed to making the right moves to improve the roster and get back to that level this summer.

But this offseason is different as it remains unclear whether LeBron will be in a Lakers uniform next season. James has a player option and could become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and while the expectation is that he will return to the Lakers, he will have the ability to sign anywhere if he declines that option.

For their part, the Lakers remain committed to James and are willing to offer him a max contract, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

James has until June 29 to opt in to the final year of his contract with the Lakers or become an unrestricted free agent. L.A. is committed to re-signing James and would offer the maximum three-year deal for which James is eligible to take him through his 24th season in the league, sources told ESPN.

Pelinka recently spoke on this, saying that it is LeBron’s decision to make and the Lakers will give him that time and space to make it.

“First, we want to respect and honor LeBron’s ability to June 29 to make a decision about his contract,” Pelinka said at the introductory press conference for new head coach JJ Redick. “He has a player option, as we all know. So definitely will give him that time to go through that decision.”

And Pelinka would continue on, adding that if LeBron is back with the Lakers, the franchise believes that they can still compete at the highest level with he and Davis as the centerpieces, and will continue to explore all options in building around them.

“But I will say if he does return to the Lakers, the proof of concept and having two all-pro players as the core pieces of your team has worked for us to the highest level, of course, in 2020,” Pelinka added.

“But if those two players are at the core of what you’re building, we like our chances. And of course, we’ll continue to have conversations as we approach free agency here in the next week or so of how we want to tweak or change, make roster changes to put ourselves in a competitive position built around those two players.”

Even though they were the seventh seed in the West last year and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers really weren’t far off from a higher seed in an extremely competitive conference. And they had great success against many of the teams above them but simply caught a bad break having to face a team in the Denver Nuggets that are the worst match up for them.

Pelinka’s confidence in the Lakers’ ability to compete at a high level with the right pieces around Davis and LeBron is warranted. But it will be up to him and the front office to make those moves and build up this roster to a level that can truly compete for a championship.

LeBron James, Anthony Davis want Lakers to go ‘all-in’ on acquiring elite player

LeBron James and Anthony Davis believe that they can still compete as well but also know that they need some more help to take them to that championship level. And they want the Lakers to make those moves to get them there.

A recent report noted that Davis and LeBron want the Lakers to go ‘all-in’ on acquiring another elite player and show their willingness to win at the highest level.

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