LeBron James ‘Adamant’ Lakers Need to Add Former Superstar Teammate: Report

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers might have finally inked LeBron James to a new contract, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from spinning.

Of course, we’re no longer going to hear about LeBron potentially walking away from the Lakers next season – he’s a professional with a history of honoring his contracts – yet, LeBron will ensure the Lakers front office is held to a high standard.

In fact, according to a report by The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, LeBron is still expecting Los Angeles to improve their roster and continues to hold out hope about being united with former teammate, Kyrie Irving.

“Those around the team were confident that James signing an extension was likely, considering how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Lakers and living in Los Angeles. The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources have told The Athletic,” Buha wrote on August 18.

With LeBron’s future now resolved, and the Lakers assured of his presence for the next three seasons (including the upcoming one) it’s time for the front office to turn their attention to improving the roster to a level where it can be considered a genuine championship contender. Whether those improvements are tied to Russell Westbrook’s future with the franchise is something the front office and coaching staff will need to figure out.

LeBron’s New Contract Makes History

When news broke that LeBron had inked an extension with the Lakers, there was a collective sigh of relief among the fanbase, as Los Angeles lacks the assets required to enter a rebuild.

According to ESPN’S Adrian Wojnarowski, LeBron’s extension is valued at $97.1 million over two years, while it also includes a 15% trade kicker. With his latest contract, LeBron has become the highest earning player in NBA history, with a career income of $532 million in guaranteed money.

“James’ commitment also puts the Lakers on the clock to rebuild a championship-level roster. As currently constructed, the Lakers aren’t championship contenders,” Buha noted in his article.

Furthermore, LeBron’s new deal will take his total time in the NBA to 22 years, and we can expect that to rise by another season should he get his wish to play alongside his son, Bronny James, once he eventually enters the NBA.

Jeanie Buss’ Priority is to Make LeBron Happy: Report

Shortly after news broke of LeBron’s latest contract, ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith reported Jeanie Buss had previously informed him that keeping LeBron happy is her number one priority.

“She personally told me, months ago, her number one priority is for LeBron James to be happy. Because obviously, losing – winning just 33 games, being 16 games under .500 – he was walking around with a very truculent attitude, as he should be…Her number one priority was making sure to put a smile on his face, because she knows it’s entwined with winning, if he ain’t winning, he ain’t happy,” Smith said during the August 17 episode of ESPN’s NBA Today.

If Buss’ priority to truly to ensure LeBron’s happiness, we should expect to see some additional movement from the Lakers in the coming weeks, as right now, their roster might not be talented enough to ensure a smile remains on LeBron’s face throughout the regular season.

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