LeBron James has been within the media highlight since he was a junior in highschool and on the duvet of Sports activities Illustrated as “The Chosen One.” He is turn into comfy in that glow and a grasp messenger – he choreographs all the pieces he says, each Instagram publish, in order that the picture and message he needs to undertaking to the world. Nothing is an accident.
The day earlier than the Lakers win — and later Thursday — they may supply him a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that will maintain him in purple and gold till he is 40, which was the message. that despatched LeBron? He labored out together with his sons Bronny and Bryce on the Lakers follow facility.
The publish is one other lengthy line this summer season that emphasizes how a lot household means to LeBron, and it reveals simply how embedded in Los Angles he and his household are proper now.
Household seems to be the most important think about LeBron James’ determination to signal an extension with the Lakers, one thing he can formally do immediately (Thursday, August 4).
LeBron has a protracted historical past of utilizing short-term contracts to get what he needs out of a company, and these Lakers, as constructed, aren’t title contenders. The Russell Westbrook commerce scenario looms over the staff, as do questions on whether or not they may use each of their tradeable first-round picks — 2027 and 2029, the final picks they’ll commerce this decade — to make modifications. vital on the record. The Lakers fired their coach, introduced in a brand new one and revamped the roster to have extra athleticism and capturing, however that can solely take this staff to date. Would LeBron signing an extension make it extra doubtless that the Lakers will use future picks to bolster the present staff? Possibly.
That is all enterprise. In spite of everything, for LeBron, household comes first — and his household is comfy in Los Angeles.
That is why most individuals NBC Sports activities has talked to across the league anticipate LeBron to signal the extension in some type. Ultimately. He would possibly milk the ability to ship a message about roster modifications — although it isn’t like Rob Pelinka and firm have not tried to commerce Westbrook — however in the long run, LeBron would not give off the vibe of a man trying to shore up Los Angeles .
Not less than till his son Bronny turns into NBA draft eligible in two years. LeBron has made it clear that he needs to play a season together with his son. It is the one factor everybody believes he would go away Los Angeles to do. Possibly the Lakers would use their 2024 first-round choose to pick Bronny and maintain the household understanding at their follow facility, besides the Lakers do not management that choose. Pelicans commerce Anthony Davis. As Joe Varden properly introduced in The Athletic this week, the Pelicans have the choice of utilizing that 2024 choose or pushing to 2025 and letting the Lakers choose in 2024. It is clearly too early for anybody to make that decision. (Additionally, how good of an NBA prospect Bronny is is questionable, many scouts haven’t got him within the first spherical if drafted in any respect. But when choosing Bronny additionally will get a staff the massive field workplace that’s LeBron for a season, calculation varies.)
LeBron has three choices with the Lakers’ extension supply (which might add years past subsequent season, the place LeBron will make $44.5 million with Los Angeles):
1) Ignore him, do not signal him and turn into a free agent subsequent summer season.
2) Signal him for 2 full years and he is locked in with the Lakers till he is 40.
3) Signal for an extra yr, or a yr with a participant possibility for the second yr (a 1+1).
Choice 3 retains LeBron primarily based in Los Angeles, however with flexibility if and when Bronny enters the NBA in one other market. Most league sources informed NBC that LeBron is predicted to go together with possibility three — a 1+1 — however that he could take his time signing it. There is no rush (the extension may very well be signed by subsequent June). And if that retains the stress on the Lakers to enhance the roster, a lot the higher.
If LeBron takes his time with the extension, hypothesis will run rampant on social media. Welcome to the fashionable NBA. Phrase of a LeBron return to Cleveland will develop. However LeBron will maintain his eye targeted on what issues to him. And that is the household.