LeBron James Secures $104M Contract with Lakers

James' Recruitment Efforts Fall Short in LA

by Nouman Rasool
LeBron James Secures $104M Contract with Lakers
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

LeBron James has agreed to a 2-year, $85 million extension with the Lakers last month, it has been confirmed by ESPN and The Athletic on Wednesday that he is close to signing his two year which will be worth around $104million deal.

Per the report, this new deal lands in accordance with but exceeds a mild wage bump on what Lake Show brass thought would have been his 2024-25 salary anyway - $51. The NBA Draft was one day closer and the Lakers had just selected his son, Bronny (55th pick), when James elected against taking an existing contract option.

The father-son combination was the focus of inside Angeles discourse with an afterthought LOB choice. That preference from James was apparent, as he readies to compete in his 22nd NBA season and seventh with the Lakers.

Deal Stalls on Recruitment

The new deal, completed on Day 4 of free agency this time around, even includes a no-trade clause and an opt-out for James next summer.

But the holdup in getting his contract done reportedly lay within James' efforts to corral another big-impact player to Los Angeles, which ultimately fizzled out. ESPN noted that James has an eye on luring Klay Thompson or DeMar DeRozan to L.A.

Though Thompson was reportedly weighing a $20 million-a-year offer from the Lakers, he decided to team up with Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic in Dallas instead of joining last year's Western Conference champions. DeRozan, who is from Los Angeles and played in college at USC, was still available as a free agent on Wednesday morning.

Though the Kings have also been mentioned as a potential destination, any deal would now involve complicated financial gymnastics for Los Angeles around James committing to his maximum salary. LeBron has made it no secret that he wants to play with his son Bronny before hanging up the sneaks, for reference purposes LeBron will turn 40 in December.

He watched as Bronny and first-round pick Dalton Knecht were introduced at a press conference on Tuesday. Last season, James was a standout on the hardwood and averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, and did good for himself with an additional average of 1assist amidst suiting up in all seventy-one games he appeared in.

James, a four-time NBA MVP and the first player last season to surpass 40,000 career points. The 20-time All-Star has averaged 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists across his illustrious career in the NBA over a massive total of regular-season games (1,492).

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