LeBron James’ stint with the Los Angeles Lakers has just been extended. The four-time MVP agreed to sign a two-year, $85 million maximum contract extension with the Lakers on Wednesday, as per his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, via The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Before the extension, James had two years left on the four-year, $153 million deal he made with the Lakers in 2018, including a player option for the 2021-22 season. Now, he will be bound under contract till 2023. It also happens to be that this is the same year that James’ son, Bronny, graduates high school, and could potentially enter the league if the rule on draft eligibility is altered by then.
It was a no-brainer for the Lakers to lock up the future Hall of Famer for a couple more years. Despite the fact that he is now 35-years old, James still appears to be near the peak of his powers as a basketball player. He will be entering his 18th NBA season this year.
He is fresh off leading the Lakers to their first NBA championship since 2010 and was named the Finals MVP in Orlando for his excellent performance in the series. For the first time in his career, James led the league at 10.2 assists per game last season. He also added 25.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per performance. As a result, he finished second in MVP voting after Giannis Antetokounmpo.
It appears that James is happy being a part of the Lakers franchise and the direction it is headed in. He also seems confident that the Lakers can raise another trophy in the upcoming season.
“We can (repeat). I mean, it’s that simple,” said James recently on an episode of the podcast “Road Trippin’,” via ESPN. “We absolutely can. … First of all, it all starts with health. You have to have some luck. You have to have health. If we can stay healthy.”
However, several key cogs from their title run in Orlando are now on other teams. Danny Green, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, and Rajan Rondo have suited up for other teams. On the bright side, the Lakers have also gained a ton of talent over this offseason by adding players like Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol. James is excited about the new additions and in turn, the Lakers got slightly younger.
“We did get younger,” said James. “We have a 27-year-old point guard (in Schroder). We got the 27-year-old Sixth Man of the Year award (winner) in Trezz. We got younger. We got Marc, who is a Defensive Player of the Year and his IQ, not only playing against him in the NBA, but also playing against him versus Spain with the national team.”
The next move for the Los Angeles Lakers should be to lock down Anthony Davis, now that James’ contract has been extended. They will have an open title window projecting to extend for many seasons, once that is done.