Even if he says it, is LeBron James actually happy with the Los Angeles Lakers?
The Lakers star has reportedly indicated that he intends to stay put, but is that true and if so, for how long? Let’s take a look.
Though it would be a mistake, to assume that the situation between the Lakers and their star is picture perfect, we can at least say we have a comment from him.
LeBron James says he’s ‘extremely happy’ in LA
Since the Los Angeles Lakers lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2020, it’s essentially been a downhill slide. In 2021, the Lakers were shown the door in the first round of the NBA Playoffs and in 2022, they didn’t even make it to the post season. Yet, despite all of that, NBA icon and Lakers star LeBron James has made clear that he’s as committed as ever to the franchise and moreover won’t be going anywhere before 2024 according to Marc Stein. What’s so special about 2024? That’s the year when James’ son Bronny will be up for the NBA Draft. In case you didn’t know, James has previously stated that he would like to play alongside his son. As for what Stein’s report said about James’ feelings, take a look here:
Sources briefed on the matter stress that James is extremely happy in Los Angeles despite the Lakers’ back-to-back rocky seasons. He and his family, by all accounts, have grown increasingly entrenched in Southern California since James signed with the Lakers in the summer of 2018. The prevailing thinking in league circles holds that only the chance to play elsewhere alongside son Bronny James, who will be eligible for the 2024 draft and continues to develop as an NBA prospect, would spur LeBron to push for an L.A. exit. James, who is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, will become eligible to sign an extension with the Lakers starting on Aug. 4. He won’t have to rush to sign an extension, though, as he could sign it at any point throughout the upcoming season, or afterward. Given Stein’s reporting about James being “extremely” happy in L.A., it certainly seems likely that at some point he’ll agree to continue his career there.
How would LeBron James staying in LA work?
Simply put, if Lebron James is to stay with the Lakers through 2024, it will require that he adds at least one more season to the end of his current contract. If that’s to be the case, then it’s likely he will opt for a two-year deal that includes a player option for the second season. Such an agreement, would allow him to part company with the Lakers should his son join a team within the league. With all that said, this is what those two options would look like:
LeBrown could simply see out this coming season in Los Angeles and then take the decision to re-sign or leave when next summer rolls around.
The Lakers star could in fact sign an extension with the Lakers. Said extension would likely be a one year deal to the tune of $46.7 million or a two year agreement at $97.1 millio. We’re betting on a move for a one and one contract that would tie LeBron and the Lakers together for two seasons, but allow him to opt out and sign elsewhere in 2024-25. Either way you cut things, it will be interesting to see if James signs an extension right away, or if he waits on the decision. Regardless, one has to imagine that the team will have to improve if they hope to convince him that staying is the best option.