With LeBron James eligible to sign an extension starting Thursday, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register looks at the factors that will go into James’ decision on whether to extend his commitment to the Lakers.
L.A. can sign James to a two-year, $97.1MM extension that would run past his 40th birthday or he can opt for a one-year deal worth $46.7MM. James could also decide to accept less, but Goon doesn’t believe the Lakers are in position to make a significant roster upgrade with any savings that he might provide.
Money will obviously factor into the decision, but James also wants to be part of a title contender, which L.A. may not be able to offer right away. Goon notes that the team could have around $20MM in cap space next summer, which is enough to add a contributor but not nearly enough for another max player.
Family will also affect James’ thought process, as he has children in school and seems committed to the L.A. area. He has expressed a desire to play alongside his son, Bronny, who will be a high school senior this year, which could put pressure on the Lakers to draft him in 2024 if LeBron agrees to a two-year extension.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- The Lakers remain Kyrie Irving‘s “top destination” if and when he leaves the Nets, whether it’s through a trade or free agency next summer, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Buha adds that the league-wide lack of interest in trading for Irving indicates that L.A. might be his only option as a free agent.
- Echoing comments he made in March, Clippers guard Reggie Jackson told youths at Paul George‘s basketball camp that he considering retirement during his time with the Pistons, per Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points (video link). “It really started making me question myself (late in his Detroit tenure),” Jackson said. “… Don’t let anybody ever do this to you in life, take the fun out of the things that you love to do. I really was gonna retire. My lifeline, my brother here saved me.”
- James Ham of The Kings Beat examines the Kings‘ new-look roster to see if they’ve upgraded enough to break their long playoff drought.