Lakers Sign LeBron James To Contract Extension

DECEMBER 3: The Lakers have officially announced James’s contract extension in a press release.

“LeBron James is a transcendent basketball player, and human being,” GM Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “LeBron put his trust in the Lakers in 2018, and now this contract extension paves the way for LeBron to further solidify his legacy as an all-time Lakers great. We could not be more honored by this commitment.”

DECEMBER 2: The Lakers and LeBron James have agreed to terms on a two-year, maximum-salary contract extension, agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports confirms (via Twitter) that an extension agreement is in place and that it will run through 2023. That means the new deal has essentially replaced LeBron’s 2021/22 player option with a guaranteed season and tacked one extra year onto his contract.

James, who has a $39,219,566 salary for 2020/21, can receive a 5% raise on that figure for the first year of his extension, which would result in a ’21/22 salary of $41,180,544, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). He can then receive an 8% raise for year two, which means a ’22/23 salary of $44,479,988. The end result would be a two-year extension worth about $85.66MM.

Assuming James prioritized maximizing his future earnings, his extension won’t include a player option for 2022/23.

As cap expert Albert Nahmad explains (via Twitter), the extension can only have included a new player option if LeBron technically picked up his existing ’21/22 option (worth $41,002,274) as part of the deal, which would limit the amount of his raise for ’22/23. CBA rules prohibit him from declining that option and then signing an extension that includes fewer than two guaranteed seasons.

Either way, LeBron will no longer be eligible to opt out in 2021, taking one huge name off next year’s free agent market. It’s not clear whether James’ extension will influence what Anthony Davis‘s next contract looks like — ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says the Lakers’ two superstars are making their decisions independent of one another.

As Charania (Twitter link) and others have noted, LeBron’s son Bronny James is scheduled to graduate high school in 2023. If the NBA and NBPA have agreed to scrap the one-and-done rule by that point, it could open the door for Bronny to enter the 2023 draft and team up with LeBron during the ’23/24 season.

The elder James will turn 36 years old later this month, but has shown no signs of slowing down yet. In 2019/20, he averaged 25.3 PPG and 7.8 RPG to go along with a league-high 10.2 APG in 67 games (34.6 MPG). He earned First Team All-NBA honors, finished second in MVP voting, led the Lakers to a championship, and won his fourth NBA Finals MVP award.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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52 thoughts on “Lakers Sign LeBron James To Contract Extension

  1. Tatsumaki

    So does that put him on 3 years left 120million? Or is that nullifying one of the years remaining

    • Tatsumaki

      Also ties lebron with lakers till bronny enters the league in 2023. Probably do 1 more year with bronny then retire.

    • f1ymo1o

      You’re right, it makes it 3 years remaining. Caveat is that the structure of the second year of this extension (year 3 overall) isn’t clear. Could be a player option, meaning this year and next are the only guaranteed years and the 22/23 season would be the option year.

    • imindless

      It’s 3 years, kinda surprised to see them sign him for this much. Guess that means they won’t be adding giannis to there roster like what was being reported. Was being reported that lakers would have asked both bron and ad to take slight cuts to fit in 3rd star. All indication are reporting that’s why ad is taking so long to sign long term.

      • Tatsumaki

        Yeah I also thought that price point was a little ridiculous….same was said about kobes last deal and that did not age well…..lebron makes so much money on endorsements and side projects kinda hard to believe he had to bend lakers over a barrell at this stage in his career. Had he have taken 25 million per year and ad takes the top spot making 40 per, that would allow lakers to add another max star while also still being able to flesh out a respectable roster and supporting cast. Guess not

        • LordBanana

          It’s ridiculous for players to take discounts in a league with a salary cap.

          • sgord03

            It’s ridiculous for players to take a discount at all. They only get one shot.

            • justinkm19

              Worked out well for Brady. Can’t stand him, but it works to build a team around you.

              • sgord03

                It did work for Brady, but he also has a wife who makes well more than him.

            • Tatsumaki

              Again paying an aging star 35 plus million worked out well before (kobes deal aged terribly) also funny that 80 percent of lebrons earnings come outside of basketball contracts, so how exactly would leaving 15 million on the table affect lebrons bottomline?

              • The Human Rain Delay

                I agree Tats…I thought he would leave a little extra in the tank for the future signees-

                Then again its purely his call…hes earned every penny worth of what he’s getting so you can’t be too mad

                I kind of enjoy having the year to year options with lesser players than just signing a 3rd star anyway.

              • bigguccisosa300

                Kobe and Lebron were different types of players in different types of situations. Also you kinda sound like a clown saying a man should just leave 15 million dollars on the table.

            • Curtisrowe

              What, you don’t think players should take smaller contracts to make fans happy? How ridiculous.

  2. Sillivan

    I am concerned about Knicks
    Knicks have 6 free agents left to sign
    Davis Lakers
    Jrue Holiday

  3. RenoChris

    If Bronny is any good how can we just assume he’s going to the Lakers? Lakers will be drafting at the bottom of the draft. Very presumptuous

    • Luke Adams

      Well, the point is that LeBron won’t still be under contract with the Lakers at that time, so he could theoretically go wherever Bronny does (this is a little hard to imagine if it’s Minnesota or Sacramento or something, but we’ll see!)

      • I could see him going anywhere if he wins another championship in LA. By that point, he’ll be 38/39 and have accomplished a ton in the league. It would probably mean more to him to play with his son that to chase another championship (though, he could very well do both at the same time).

  4. Jason Lancaster

    Seems like good news for Milwaukee – Bron and Davis would have opted out next summer to create the room LA would need to sign Giannis. With LeBron locked in, odds are LA couldn’t find the cap space to sign more than one max free agent.

    But we’ll see…

    • Tatsumaki

      Again, they wouldn’t have resigned his brother if they knew they had no chance. Ad still hasn’t signed he could do a 1 plus 1 and still be able to fit giannis in.

      • justinkm19

        Mavs also have a good chance to land Giannis and they let Kostas walk 2 years ago.

        • The Human Rain Delay

          Mia/ Dallas have looked like better bets all along-

          50% Mil
          25% Mia
          20% Dal
          5% Mystery team

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Makes no difference if the final year is a player option or not, he will be turning 38 early on in the 2022-23 season so why would he opt out of a maximum salary? It will be interesting to see the level of excitement from Lakers fans then when he comes back for his fifth and final season with the team.

    • Lakers1

      Lakers reward players for titles.. it boggles my mind how players like Westbrook and harden make more money then lebron.. I mean lebron has more rings with lakers than Westbrook and harden have combined

      • I think the Rockets have shown that they aren’t the brightest franchise. It often seems like they are just stumbling around in the dark, kind of like the Lakers when Jim Buss was calling the shots. Thank goodness that debacle ended.

      • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

        In a few years Harden will have about as many rings as LBJ does.

        LeBron got lucky last year and will decline greatly this season then the two after that. Lakers fans will be glad when he retires in 2023 so the re-build can begin in LA.

    • GoLandCrabs

      Dude no one cares if he falls off a cliff at the end of the deal. He already has 1 chip in the bag and is in great shape to go back-to-back. Worry about your owner offering James Harden 50 million a season for a season 3 years down the line.

      • Lakers1

        Harden couldn’t win with Howard then they moved on to Paul.. that didn’t work so Westbrook.. how much help does harden need? The common denominator, all 3 wanted out and didn’t want to play with harden.. Kobe was right.. harden isn’t a player that you build a title contender around..

    • The Human Rain Delay

      Todays forecast 78 and sunny in La

      5 yrs from now expect some grey clouds and raindrops-

      Thanks for the update Harden, ill make sure to stock up on some rainboots

      • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

        It won’t take 5 years, the sunny weather is over in LA.

  6. dodgersvictoryagain

    There is no upgrade to sign over LBJ. Be grateful fellow Laker fans we have him for 3 more

    • He also has not shown any signs of slowing down and is a freak of nature so there is no reason to assume he will age the same way as other players. I would not be surprised at all if he is still elite at 38. Quite frankly, I’ll be surprised if he isn’t.

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      Come back a year from now and tell me how grateful you are.

  7. Lakers1

    He invests 1 million per year just on his body and conditioning.. he will still be elite

    • Dxit90a

      Doubt he will be elite at age 37 and 38. He will
      Have to game manage and hope his body dies not give up. This year he will be the same as last year .

      • dreamrei

        Very true. Its just crazy to think that a mid 30s guy with so much mileague on his body outperforms 95% of all players who are in their prime. Barring a devastating season ending injury, he can play at a high level for 4 more years. (high level in IQ play and choosing when to score/take over).

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      He barely scores what he did his rookie year anymore, LeBron is far from elite at age 36. The only reason he will keep making the All-Star team from now on will be because of past success and his popularity with fans.

        • No kidding…he has adjusted his game and is still likely the best player in the league. That Rockets fan regularly shows himself to be a fool.

        • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

          Dude, I guarantee you that I am way, WAY smarter than LeBron James. Don’t make me laugh.


    Does John Wall still make more money than him through those years??? Wizards……..


      But good for Lebron he’s grown up and finally got over commitment issues, he’s earned every dollar he’s made.

      • Lakers1

        Lakers make that 10 times.. lakers are happy to reward star players that bring home titles.. while other teams will nickel and dime aging players, lakers pay their stars..

  9. Marty McRae

    “Transcendent human being” cmon, he’s just an athlete, it’s not that serious….

  10. davidkaner

    With all the money he’s made thus far & his future earnings still at max level, he might retire with more earnings than any athlete in history. You add in endorsements, he will reach billionaire status much sooner than Magic or MJ. Impressive….

    • Dxit90a

      Got to take inflation into consideration. 100 million 30 years ago value is more than it is today

  11. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    When is LeBron expected to begin playing this season? It has been speculated by many that he won’t play until mid-late January.

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