After winning his fourth NBA Finals and Finals MVP, superstar LeBron James extended his contract with the Lakers for two more seasons.
Let’s analyze it.
First of all, let’s clarify what the details are. LeBron James signed a 4 year/$153,312,846 contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. This contract included a player option for the last season. LeBron is entering his third season as a Laker and was potentially facing a contract year. Now, with the new contract he signed, this isn’t the case.
The new contract James signed is a two year $85 million deal that voids the last year of his contract and adds another year without any option. This means that James will remain a Laker until the end of the 2022-2023 season, where he will be 38 years old. For the next season, James will earn $41,180,544 instead of $41,002,273, which was what his player option stated. It’s true that there isn’t a big difference in that year, but the purpose of the extension was to add another year without an option. In that year James will earn $44,474,988. James signed for the maximum amount of money he could earn and for the maximum amount of time the league allows.
And what does this mean for LeBron James?
This is actually the first contract extension that LeBron James signs since 2006 when he was still in his rookie contract. It keeps him with the team until 2023, the year his son Bronny graduates high school. LeBron has said before that one of his goals is to play alongside his son, but current NBA rules don’t allow players to go from high school to the NBA directly.
We will see if the league changes its rules in the next years, otherwise, we would have to wait another year to watch this happen.
Analysts believe that LeBron James is on pace to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in the 2022-2023 season, the last year of his contract.
It would be a special moment to watch James accomplish this in a Laker uniform.
Featured Image: Harry How/AFP