LeBron James qualified for a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. The superstar has a lot to think about before signing a deal to stay in LA for more seasons.
James has one year and $44.47 million left on his current contract. He can sign a maximum extension worth $97.1 million that would keep him with the Lakers through the 2024-25 season. If James doesn’t renew his contract, he could become a free agent in the summer of 2023.
There are other options for James than extending his contract by two years or turning down an extension altogether. James can extend his contract by a year, which extends his contract to 2024. James also has the choice to sign the two-year, $97.1 million extension while making the final year of his contract a player option.
After the Lakers won the 2020 NBA Finals and Anthony Davis signed a five-year contract with Los Angeles, there seemed a strong possibility that James would end his career in LA. That might still be the most likely scenario, but recent seasons have sparked speculation that the greatest player of his generation might be looking to switch teams before his career is over.
The Lakers have not won a playoff series since winning the title in 2020. Los Angeles failed to qualify for the NBA play-in tournament last season. Davis’ injury history and depth issues may mean the Lakers are unlikely to have a championship-caliber roster when James enters the final year of his contract.
LeBron James is now eligible to sign a 2-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers.
Here are James’ options and the financial implications in LA, with or without a new contract.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 4, 2022
James doesn’t have much financial incentive to sign an extension before the end of the 2022-23 season. Even at 38, James received offers for maximum free agency salary. The four-time NBA Finals MVP averaged 30.3 points on 52.4% shooting last season.
James’ career earnings are expected to surpass $431 million for the upcoming season. According to Forbes, his net worth surpassed $1 billion in 2022.
With James seriously trying to play in the NBA with his teenage son, Bronny James, he may not want to tie himself into a contract until 2024. His son will be eligible for the 2024 NBA draft, and LeBron James might want to be a free agent this offseason.
LeBron James hasn’t ruled out a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the future. He signed with Cleveland in 2014, four years after leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. The Cavs have not returned to the playoffs since the Ohio native led the team to four straight NBA Finals from 2015-18.
If LeBron James doesn’t renew his contract this summer, he can still sign a new contract during the season.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/lebron-james-eligible-2-year-extension-1837659?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution LeBron James eligible for 2-year extension