LeBron James signed a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on August 18th. The extension includes a player option for the 2024-25 season and it sounds like the King will sign a new contract once his current deal expires.
During an extensive interview with Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated, James said he “could play for quite a while.” The four-time MVP turns 38 in December.
“I feel like I could play for quite a while. So it’s all up to the body, but more importantly, my mind,” James said. “If my mind can stay sharp and fresh and motivated, then the sky’s not even the limit for me. I can go beyond that. But we shall see.”
James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists last season in 56 starts while shooting 52.4% from the field, 35.9% from beyond the arc and 75.6% from the free-throw line. The four-time champion is still one of the top players in the NBA despite being close to 40. James was the fifth-oldest player in the league last season and he still put up incredible numbers.
James Wants to Play with Both of His Sons
James has repeatedly voiced his desire to play with his oldest son, Bronny, in the NBA. The Akron Hammer is now adding his youngest son, Bryce, to the equation.
“I like to throw things out in the airwaves, but I’m not one to [say] what’s going to happen in the next two to three years,” James told Ballard. “I am a visionary, but I’m also a guy that lives in the moment. I’d definitely be looking at who got first-round picks in 2024, 2025, things of that nature; 2026, ’27. I pay attention to that type of stuff.”
Both of James’ sons play basketball at Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles. Bronny will be a senior in high school this year, while Bryce will be a sophomore. Bronny will be eligible for the NBA Draft in 2024. The 17-year-old is ranked No. 49 by 247Sports and No. 43 in the 247Sports Composite. The Lakers currently don’t have a first-round pick in 2024. It belongs to the New Orleans Pelicans, who acquired it in the summer of 2019 in the Anthony Davis trade.
Once Bronny and Bryce finish high school, they can play college basketball, go overseas or enlist with the G League Ignite.
Why Did James Sign an Extension with Lakers?
On the August 20th episode of The Hoop Collective, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said James signed an extension with Los Angeles because he “believes in the Lakers.” James’ extension has a 15% trade kicker and makes the superstar the highest-earning player in NBA history with $532 million in guaranteed money.
“Basically I was told because LeBron believes in the Lakers,” Windhorst said. “LeBron believes in the Lakers. Long story short.”
James signed with the Lakers in the summer of 2018 as an unrestricted free agent. LA missed the playoffs in 2018-19, won the championship in 2019-20, lost in the first round of the 2021 postseason and failed to qualify for the play-in tournament last season. James has appeared in 223 out of a possible 307 regular-season games since joining the Lakers, averaging 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists.
An 18-time All-Star, James played in the Drew League on July 16th and finished with 42 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and three assists. He is 1,326 points away from passing Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.