Former NBA Star Goes Off About LeBron James’ Future with Lakers

Lakers star LeBron James

Getty Lakers star LeBron James

A former NBA star doesn’t believe LeBron James will leave the Los Angeles Lakers anytime soon.

On August 3, Jalen Rose said on “NBA Today” that he thinks James will sign a contract extension with the Lakers for reasons beyond basketball. Rose, who is an analyst at ESPN, played 923 NBA games and won the 1999-00 Most Improved Player of the Year Award.

“They know he ain’t leaving now,” Rose said. “So it don’t even matter what happens with the contract. They know they got the house out here, the wife out here, they know the kids out here. We always think about it as LeBron James the superstar, not always LeBron James the father, the dad, the human being. I don’t think he’s gonna necessarily wanna uproot his family to go play somewhere else.”

James is eligible to sign a two-year extension worth around $97 million. The four-time MVP would become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023 if he didn’t agree to an extension with Los Angeles. The final day James can sign an extension is June 30, 2023.

James Is ‘Extremely Happy in Los Angeles’

In his July 29 Substack column, NBA insider Marc Stein reported that James is “extremely happy” in Los Angeles. Both of James’ sons play basketball at Sierra Canyon School.

Bronny James will be a senior in high school this year and Bryce James is entering his sophomore year of high school. James’ wife and daughter also enjoy living in Los Angeles.

“Sources briefed on the matter stress that James is extremely happy in Los Angeles despite the Lakers’ back-to-back rocky seasons,” Stein reported. “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.”

James signed with the Lakers in the summer of 2018. The four-time champion has played in 223 out of a possible 307 regular-season games since joining the purple and gold. James is averaging 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists as a member of the Lakers. However, he has missed the postseason twice with Los Angeles.

James Has 3 Options

James has three options with the Lakers’ extension offer. The future Hall of Famer can decline it and become a free agent in 2023, sign a two-year extension or agree to a 1+1 deal.

According to an August 4 report from Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, James is expected to sign a 1+1 deal with the Lakers.

“Most sources around the league NBC spoke with expected LeBron will go with option three — a 1+1 — but that he may take his time signing it,” Helin reported. “There is no rush (the extension can be signed through next June). And if that keeps the pressure on the Lakers to upgrade the roster, all the better.”

James will make $44,474,988 next season. The King averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 52.4% from the field, 35.9% from beyond the arc and 75.6% from the free-throw line in 2021-22. However, the Lakers went only 33-49 and didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament.

James, the only player in NBA history to rank top 10 all-time in points and assists, played in the Drew League on July 16 alongside Chicago Bulls shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and reminded everyone why he’s one of the best basketball players of all time. The Chosen One finished with 42 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three assists in his first Drew League game since 2011.

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