LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have reached an agreement on a two-year, $85 million contract extension that runs through the 2022-23 season, his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports told Yahoo Sports.
The 16-time All-Star led the Lakers to the championship in October, capturing Finals MVP honors.
James owned a $41 player option for the 2021-22 season that could have made him a free agent next summer. That will be torn up in favor of a slight raise in 2021-22 and $44.5 million guaranteed in 2022-23.
The contract will see James through his 38th birthday and 20th NBA season. His 2023 free agency could also coincide with the draft year of his oldest son, Bronny James. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is on record saying high school players will become draft-eligible in the near future, and the younger James will finish his senior year at Sierra Canyon School in 2023. Bronny is currently considered an elite prep recruit.
The news of James’ extension came as a surprise on Wednesday, if only because his Lakers teammate and fellow Klutch client Anthony Davis has yet to sign his contract. Davis is currently a free agent, and his return to the Lakers is a foregone conclusion. He is reportedly mulling a decision on the length of his max deal.
The possibility remains that Davis could also sign through 2023. That would essentially rule the Lakers out of the potential Giannis Antetokounmpo sweepstakes in 2021 free agency. Were Davis to structure a deal to opt into 2021 free agency, the Lakers could find ways to pursue a third max-contracted star next summer.
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