LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers agree 2-year, $97.1 million extension including 3rd year player option

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that includes a player option for the 2024-25 season, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN on Wednesday.

The extension, which includes 15% kicker trade, makes James the highest-earning player in NBA history with $532 million in career security, surpassing brooklyn network star Kevin Durant.

James is not eligible for the no-trade clause because he has already agreed to an extension – not a new deal. But the new contract’s starting salary of $46.7 million, a 15% exchange player and James’ stature as one of the greats in history could make him a Laker as long as he he chooses.

James has entered the final season of his contract ($44.5 million) and now joins the All-Star Anthony Davis with the ability to negotiate new contracts with the Lakers or become a free agent for two seasons.

With the deal, the four-time NBA champion and MVP and 18-time All-Star eliminates concerns that he could enter free agency next summer. Despite being nearly 38 years old, James is still an All-NBA level player and at the center of the Lakers’ competitive hopes.

James is ineligible to be traded for the upcoming 2022-23 season as his second year of renewal exceeds a 5% gain.

The Lakers could be north of the $20 million salary cap space in the 2023 season and will likely sign a third maximum contract with the player in the 2024 season. Player options will increase the limit space. salary limit if the player declines them, but stays in new trades.

James, who turns 38 on December 30, is restricted from signing a two-year extension as he will be 38 or older when his current contract expires, a stipulation in the collective bargaining agreement. union body.

The Lakers missed the 2022 playoffs, though James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. Injuries limited James to 56 games.

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