The 2020 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player will be in the City of Angels for a little while longer. Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul told ESPN and multiple outlets that LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $85 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James Agree to Two-Year, $85 Million Extension
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, James’ extension will keep the future Hall of Famer in Los Angeles through the 2022-23 season. He signed a four-year deal in July 2018 and missed the postseason during his first year in Los Angeles. However, he bounced back the following year by keeping his promise in bringing a championship back to Los Angeles. His deal had a player option after the 2020-21 season, until this recent contract extension.
LeBron James‘ two-year, $85M max extension with the Los Angeles Lakers runs through 2022-23 season, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. James‘ 36th birthday is on Dec. 30. https://t.co/MAF7WjxSWs
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 2, 2020
James will turn 36-years-old this month. However, he has shown zero signs of slowing down. During the Lakers’ championship season, James averaged 25.3 points per game and led the league in assists with 10.2 per game. His dominance carried over to the postseason, finishing with nine 30-point games and five triple-doubles to help the Lakers win their 17th championship. He was named NBA Finals MVP after leading the Lakers past the Miami Heat in six games. James is the first player in NBA history to win the award with three different franchises. He previously won with Heat in 2012 and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
Here’s an interesting note. His oldest son, Bronny James, will graduate from high school in 2023, the year after James’ deal expires. If the league and players’ association mutually agree to change the high-school-to-pro rule, his son could enter the NBA Draft. The father-and-son duo could potentially play with or against each other.
James’ Extention Impact
With James signing a supermax extension, this draws more attention to Anthony Davis, who is currently negotiating an extension. The Lakers have room in their cap to offer Davis the supermax, especially with James’ signing his extension. However, if Davis signs a short-term deal, it would give the Lakers additional flexibility to sign a third player at the maximum.
It would be easier for the Lakers if Davis signs the one-and-one to gain his bird rights. If a team has a player’s bird rights, they can offer more money to re-sign a player without hitting the hard cap. This was how Kentavious Caldwell-Pope resigned with Los Angeles, which gave the Lakers the ability to sign Marc Gasol.
General Manager Rob Pelinka has demonstrated his knowledge and awareness of the salary cap, allowing him to be more flexible when speaking to free agents. The Lakers’ journey for an 18th title is slated to start on Dec. 22nd against the Los Angeles Clippers.
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