NBA GM Reveals Top Contender to Land Lakers Star LeBron James: Exclusive

LeBron James

Getty LeBron James faces an uncertain future with the LA Lakers.

LeBron James can put the rumors about his future with the Los Angeles Lakers to rest by signing a contract extension as soon as August 4, 2022. It remains to be seen if the superstar will give the Lakers some peace of mind by signing a new two-year deal or instead play out the final year of his current contract, a decision that would make James a free agent in 2023.

The Cavaliers continue to be viewed as a potential threat to pulling off a possible reunion with James. During a conversation with’s NBA insider Sean Deveney, one Eastern Conference general manager noted Cleveland “would worry me” if he were part of the Lakers front office. The league exec added that the Cavs are likely more of a threat in 2024 when his son Bronny James becomes draft eligible.

“The two things that would worry me if I was the Lakers are the Cavaliers and Bronny,” the general manager explained to Heavy. “He wants to play with Bronny and he has said he will go and do that when the chance comes. He never said he would do it in Bronny’s rookie season but if he decides he wants to do that in 2024, then LeBron’s only signing for one more year and he’ll take a minimum somewhere to play with his son. But there’s variables there too, like is Bronny definitely going to be one-and-done?

“And there’s the Cleveland thing. The Cavs could get themselves into position to get Bronny, and sign LeBron all at once in 2024. That’s a home-run move for that team. They’re going to keep that in the back of their heads no matter what they do in the next couple of years. So the Lakers window here, it’s really small.”

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Will LeBron Sign a New Contract With the Lakers?

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Despite the Cavaliers being a team to watch, the NBA GM still believes James ultimately “wants to be in Los Angeles.” That does not necessarily mean James is willing to sign an extension before the season starts. The general manager noted there is “no real reason” for James to sign an extension this summer.

“There are a lot of moving parts to the stuff with LeBron,” the exec detailed. “He can do the extension this week and just put everybody at ease. He is where he wants to be, he has the entertainment company, he wants to be in Los Angeles, everybody knows it has been his plan to finish out his career in L.A. so he can also work on the entertainment stuff. His kids are in school and all of that, so quality of life says he stays in L.A.

“But he does not have to re-sign now. There’s no real reason for him to go out and sign an extension other than to send the message, ‘I’m here, I want to be here, let’s go.'”

LeBron Is ‘Unlikely’ to Sign a Contract Extension Soon: Report

VideoVideo related to nba gm reveals top contender to land lakers star lebron james: exclusive2022-08-03T14:51:12-04:00

James may be eligible to sign a contract extension on August 4, but this is not a deadline. The Lakers superstar has until June 30, 2023 to sign a new deal, which is why Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix views James inking an extension any time soon as “unlikely.”

“James seems unlikely to sign an extension this week,” Mannix wrote on August 3. “Or the week after. Or the week after that. Why? For starters, he doesn’t have to. Thursday isn’t a deadline. It’s the first day James can sign the extension. The last day? June 30. Which means James has roughly ten months to agree to a new two-year, $97.1 million extension. If he doesn’t, he will hit free agency … when he can sign a three-year contract with the Lakers—or any other NBA team—next summer.”

Where Will Bronny James Get Drafted?

Beyond James’ future for 2023, there are logistical questions about how the NBA legend plans to play with his son. Bronny James is not NBA eligible until the 2024 draft, at the earliest. The younger James is coming off a strong showing at the Peach Jam tournament for his Strive for Greatness (SFG) squad where I was able to get an up-close look at his progression. Bronny is a smart player whose biggest strength may be his passing ability. The contest I attended ended with Bronny passing out of a double-team to create an open look for his teammate to hit the game-winning three-pointer.

There is still plenty of time for Bronny’s NBA stock to change, but as of now, he is not a lock to be a first-round pick. It is admittedly early, but one scouting official told Deveney that Bronny likely sits as a “solid second-round pick” that could turn into a first rounder if the team is also able land his father as a package deal.

“I’ve seen Bronny play a lot, obviously that team is at all the tournaments with the talent they have,” the scout told Heavy. “He has potential to be a high-energy role player who creates a lot of turnovers, pushes the pace for you, plays excellent defense and can knock down some shots.

“He is a little like Chris Duhon from a few years ago, a smart player who fits a role. It will be interesting to see how his name affects him in college and in the draft — does it help or hurt? He is a pretty grounded young guy from what I have seen and heard and if he maintains that, he can be a solid second-round pick and might get into the first round if teams think they’ll get LeBron with him.”

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