Four-time MVP LeBron James will head into the 2022-23 NBA season on the final year of a two-year, $85.6M contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, James and his agent Rich Paul had “productive” talks with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka on Thursday surrounding a possible contract extension for the 18-time All-Star.
During the 2021-22 season, James hinted at a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2023, saying, ‘the door’s not close on that.’ A short time later, LeBron backtracked from those statements, claiming he saw himself wearing the Lakers’ purple and gold for ‘as long as I can play.’
Further complicating matters, James has voiced his desire to play with his son, Bronny James. In February, James told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd that he’d do ‘whatever’ it takes to make that dream a reality, and that money would not be a factor. Bronny, 17, won’t be draft eligible until at least 2024.
Thursday marked the first day James was eligible to sign an extension with L.A. The Lakers will have until the end of the 2022-23 NBA season, or June 30th, to lock James up, or he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.
The 37-year-old averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks over 56 regular-season games for the Lakers last season.