It feels as though it had been just yesterday that people were discussing how LeBron James signing his latest extension with the Lakers in 2020 brought him a little nearer to using Bronny James soon.
Fast forward a couple of years also it almost was just yesterday that people were discussing James possibly forcing his way to avoid it of LA should they werent competitive.
We are able to put those rumors to bed, though. LeBron James is a LA Laker for the near future at the very least, until his son helps it be to the NBA.
James signed a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers on Wednesday, in accordance with ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski.
BREAKING: LA Lakers star LeBron James has decided on a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension including a new player option for the 2024-2025 season, @KlutchSports CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN. James have been entering final year of deal worth $44.5M.
Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 17, 2022
The offer has a 15% trade kicker and will potentially rise to $111 million if the salary cap spikes in the 2024-25 season.
Nobody really expected James to sign this extension at this stage. Lakers fans (and the team, obviously) are elated that hes staying. Also it makes a huge amount of sense why he’d once you really boil it down.
Lets dive involved with it.
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Lets keep it a buck LeBron James had $97.1 million reasons to sign that deal and thats why he achieved it.
It had been the amount of money, yall. No, James doesnt necessarily need money. Hes already a billionaire, in accordance with Forbes, and is nearly certain to help keep printing money off the court.
But, listen. He just made half of a billion dollars on the basketball court. I cant imagine him passing that up. Hes quite literally the richest NBA player ever, per ESPNs Bobby Marks.
James is currently the best paid player in league history with $532M on court earnings.
Kevin Durant at $508M previously held that mark. https://t.co/xrW4ES2XUQ
Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 17, 2022
Look, I understand. I obtain it. LeBron James is fantastic. He still plays basketball like hes in his prime.
But this dude will probably be 38 yrs . old in December. His playing days are nearer to being over than simply starting. He doesnt have this many big deals left in him. Once you get this type of money, you go on it. Especially at his age.
The NBA comes with an over-38 rule that doesnt allow players over 38 yrs . old to sign five year deals from fear they could retire prior to the deal is in fact up. It had been previously the over-36 rule, but James and Chris Paul fought to bump this up.
Regardless, theres no long-term security on the market for him anymore. This is the very best deal he was getting.
This is actually the big one. The Lakers have already been hesitant to create any moves to boost their team since they didnt have dedication from James.
Theyve had deals up for grabs where, should they move their draft picks from 2027 and 2029, theyd have the ability to enhance their roster significantly with players like Kyrie Irving or Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. However they wouldnt sacrifice their future without security.
Now, theyve got that security. So we ought to be seeing them making moves eventually.
Dont obtain it twisted this deal doesnt mean James is really a Laker for the others of his career. Needless to say, he is able to be. But its not occur stone.
James includes a player option in year two of his extension. Its fundamentally the same type of 1+1 deal James signed when he played for the Cavaliers. Its a play for leverage and puts the Lakers back in this example these were in come early july next year with James future in the total amount.
The ball continues to be in his court. Thats got big implications for something further down this list. More in a sec.
The Lakers traded for Anthony Davis intending on him to function as someone to carry the torch once LeBron is preparing to hand it off.
We havent quite reached that time yet. Davis hasnt been the clear-cut best player on these Lakers at this time. But he could be 29 yrs . old and, if he wasnt the very best player throughout their 2020 championship run, he was certainly near that.
James includes a running mate who might be good enough to transport the torch. Thats essential and was probably a large reason he stayed. Davis and James will be the only two Lakers under contract through 2025.
Like the player option, LeBron James and Anthony Davis are actually under contract on a single timeline through 2025. https://t.co/1vCuKuRqCu
Evan Sidery (@esidery) August 17, 2022
That is their team.
Its pretty clear LeBron James loves his life in LA. He is able to do his basketball stuff along with his media stuff but still watch his kids play basketball and mature together all in exactly the same space.
This tweet from the other day with him gushing about Bronny James and Bryce James playing together says everything.
BRONNY BRYCE IS FINALLY HERE
SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 11, 2022
No chance LeBron was giving this up.
LeBron is currently in perfect position to go wherever his son goes, should he actually play in the NBA.
Theres no guarantee he helps it be the NBA is vast pool of talent and being linked to among the greats doesnt get you a roster spot. But Bronny is good. And when he keeps improving he could easily get there.
If he does, itd maintain the summertime of 2024. Thats when hed be draft eligible. Thats also exactly the same year James can opt out of his deal and enter free agency.
We realize James really wants to play along with his son. He told us in January.
I’d like him to access the NBA. Im not gonna lie. I wish to be on the court with him. I believe that would a fantastic moment.
The groundwork has been laid. Well observe how everything unfolds, but as of this moment that is definitely on the right track to occur either in LA or elsewhere.