Analyst Suggests Lakers Superstar Take Pay Cut to Get ‘More Help’

lebron james anthony davis

Getty LeBron James with Anthony Davis.

The walls are closing in for the Los Angeles Lakers. After being championship favorites for much of the season, the team’s injuries have finally caught up to them. They were decimated by the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers’ role players have been wildly inconsistent this season and if they lose in the first round of the playoffs, major changes will have to happen.

LeBron James is 36 now and his body isn’t holding up as it used to. Anthony Davis has always had injury issues and it appears last season’s mostly clean run was the exception to the rule. The Lakers may need to add a third star if they hope to win more championships in the near future. According to Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, LeBron may have to give the team a discount to make that happen.

“LeBron has to look in the mirror and go ‘do I have to work out my contract here eventually? Take a little less to have a little more help.’ I think it would help them in the pursuit of championships,” Cowherd said on The Herd. “It’s going to be an interesting offseason.”

Even in his older age, LeBron is worth every bit of the max money the Lakers are paying him. Also, the NBA isn’t the NFL. Contracts can’t be restricted once they’ve been signed. Los Angeles is going to have to pay LeBron through the 2022-2023 season.

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LeBron Recently Signed Contract Extension

In the offseason, the Lakers decided to extend LeBron’s contract. He’s now set to be with the team until the end of the 2022-2023 season at max money. He’s earned every bit of that money and Los Angeles definitely doesn’t have buyer’s remorse.

Even though LeBron isn’t as effective right now due to an ankle injury, he can still return to MVP form next season. If the Lakers lose in the first round of the playoffs, he’s going to have a massive chip on his shoulder heading into next season. With that said, the team will have to rely on a star taking a discount to championship chase in Los Angeles.

Possible Stars for Lakers to Pursue

The players who would be the most ideal for the Lakers to target would be Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal. Both are loyal to a fault but are stuck with franchises that can’t get over the hump. Until they make it clear that they want to move on, there’s little chance the Lakers are going to get either of them. Realistically, the team couldn’t really afford either of them until LeBron’s current contract expires. In 2023, he’ll be 38 going on 39. He could play at a much lesser price as it’s hard to imagine he’ll still be a superstar at that age. If the Portland Trail Blazers and Washinton Wizards continue to disappoint, perhaps Beal and/or Lillard is ready to jump ship.

If waiting until 2023 isn’t a viable option, the team could look to free agency this offseason. Kawhi Leonard is on the verge of getting knocked out of the first round of the playoffs. He can hit free agency this offseason and perhaps he’s regretting picking the Clippers over the Lakers. However, it’ll be very difficult to make the money work. If he’s not interested, DeMar DeRozan could be an option. He’s from Los Angeles and fills the need for a consistent third scoring option. All of that could make it appealing for him to come to the team at a discount for a year and chase a championship with his hometown team. That said, he can’t shoot threes, which is what the Lakers really need.

The team was rumored to have an interest in Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline. He’ll be a free agent this offseason and the Lakers would likely love to replace Dennis Schroder with him.

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