The LA Lakers finally reached the mountaintop with their first NBA title in a decade. The Lakers have kept their foot on the pedal this offseason to add to the buzz around the franchise. Things have taken another unexpected turn with LeBron James inking a two-year extension with LA. Although it will push him two decades in the league, but it may be Bronny James that factor into that extension coming to fruition.
The Lakers put forth a busy offseason
The Lakers are not too far from the emotional high from winning an NBA title, which hasn’t stopped them from adding to the roster.
LA has remained proactive in the offseason with retooling the team around their two star players. General manager Rob Pelinka has added proven veteran talents such as Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, and Marc Gasol over the offseason.
The team also retained Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris while Anthony Davis is expected back on a new contract. Although the team lost critical role players in Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard, the front office has quickly secured the roster.
The Lakers’ offseason has just taken another interesting turn with a move that will significantly impact their long-term future.
LeBron James surprisingly inks a two-year extension
The Lakers haven’t had any shortage of moves in the abbreviated offseason that has seen the buzz around the franchise rise even higher.
Things took off to another notch with Shams Charania of The Athletic reporting on Wednesday that star forward LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $85 million extension.
James previously inked to a four-year, $153.2 million contract to join the Lakers in July 2018. He was entering the third year of his deal, with a $41 million player option for the 2021-22 campaign. The new extension now puts the four-time NBA Finals MVP under contract through the 2022-23 season.
The Lakers will potentially have James for the next three years, with his 20th campaign being the final year of the extension. The move also erases potential concerns that he could test the free-agent market next offseason while further extending LA’s window to build around him.
In his brief time with the Lakers, James has helped guided the franchise back to glory by winning their 17th NBA title. He has put the organization back on the map as a legitimate championship contender that could add a few more before his deal runs up.
How Bronny James may factor into the decision
The immediate reaction to the massive move shifts quickly to Anthony Davis’ contract situation with the Lakers.
LeBron James’ new deal may all but cement Davis agreeing to a three-year deal with a third-year player option. The contract will open the door for the star big man to ink a max contract with the Lakers worth well north of $200 million.
Beyond that, the sentiment around the situation inevitably heads toward the extension being possibly James’ last contract. If the 2022-23 campaign has a player option or not, the crux of that detail will open the door to other possibilities being on the table.
The contract runs through his 20th season, which could see him play his final campaign with the Lakers. However, another scenario on the table is that he could play with his son Bronny James, who is slated to graduate from high school in 2023.
The premise would gain more legs if the NBA were to remove the one-and-done collegiate rule for the draft eligibility. The move could allow Bronny James to be apart of the 2023 draft class potentially. All that would hinge on him being ready to take that next leap to the NBA at that point in his basketball career.
With the four-time NBA champion under contract through the next three years, it at least extends James’ tenure with the Lakers that could see another championship added to the resume.