Rob Pelinka Sent Strong Message to LeBron James in Recent Meeting: Report

rob pelinka

Getty Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.

The Los Angeles Lakers will know if LeBron James is committed to the team for the future in the coming months. The superstar is eligible for a contract extension right now but has yet to guarantee the team anything. LeBron doesn’t want to leave Los Angeles but his desire to win might outweigh his love for the city.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, LeBron and his agent met with Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka and head coach Darvin Ham to speak about the state of the team and his contract extension eligibility:

James and his agent Rich Paul — CEO of Klutch Sports — met with Pelinka and head coach Darvin Ham last week. The 37-year-old is approaching his 20th season in the league. He is due for a two-year, $97.1 million extension.

And while contract dialogue was broached, the majority of the hour-long meeting was about expressing concerns, and hearing out strategies and opinions to assure there wouldn’t be a repeat of last season’s epic failure, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

LeBron is usually heavily involved with how his teams construct the roster and that doesn’t seem to have changed. Marc Stein has previously reported that the star is pushing for a Kyrie Irving trade. It remains to be seen if that will happen but Pelinka did make a strong promise.

“Pelinka made his feelings clear that he wants James to retire as a Laker and promised to provide him with every resource possible to compete for a championship each year he’s with the organization, sources said,” Haynes wrote.

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Will LeBron Sign an Extension?

LeBron is in a very advantageous situation. Outside of doing the Lakers a solid, he has no reason to re-up his contract right now. According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, LeBron is eligible for his extension until June 30, 2023. That means he can wait until the season starts and see how the team is before signing a new deal.

LeBron won’t be in any rush to sign the extension until he sees what the team does this offseason. If they start the season with Russell Westbrook on the roster, it’s hard to imagine he’ll sign. If the Lakers can pull off a trade for Irving, then LeBron will likely sign.

LeBron Wants to Compete Every Night

LeBron will likely become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer this season. He’s already made a strong case that he’s the greatest player ever. The only thing that can still add to his case is winning more championships. He knows that and is still committed to winning despite being 37.

LeBron made it clear that last year’s efforts can be replicated. Ham and he had a dialogue about it, per Haynes:

James, sources said, drilled home the importance of consistent competitiveness and cohesion, noting that last season’s team didn’t give themselves a chance on many nights. The focus for the future Hall of Famer is competing every night in order to give themselves a chance to compete for a championship.

Ham agreed with James and reiterated that his main objectives are to hold everyone accountable and foster an atmosphere of selflessness, sources said. He voiced that defensive tenacity needs to be picked up all across the roster and also forewarned that players would have to play new roles and if he sensed reluctance, he wouldn’t hesitate to remove them from the game, sources said.

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