LeBron James Reportedly Seeking Nine-Figure Deal With Lakers

LeBron James is hoping to negotiate a new contract with the Lakers this summer that will pay him “nine figures” over the next three years, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on a recent edition of First Take (video link).

“I don’t think this is LeBron’s last stand, I don’t think this is the Lakers’ last stand,” Windhorst said. “First off, I think LeBron is angling to sign a multiyear deal in the offseason with the Lakers that will be nine figures. That will be even bigger than the deal he is on now. Now, whether or not he’s able to finish that deal, whether or not the Lakers want to give him a three-year contract and pay him $60 million when he’s 42 years old, that’s a different discussion.”

James, who turned 39 in December, is earning $47.6MM this season and faces a decision on a $51.4MM player option for next year. He could come back to the Lakers for that amount, opt to test free agency or pursue a long-term deal that might keep him in L.A. through the end of his career. Windhorst believes that’s his preference if Lakers management is willing to cooperate.

James continues to perform at a remarkable level for someone his age, averaging 25.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists through 51 games in his 21st NBA season. He appeared in his 20th consecutive All-Star Game earlier this month.

James has said in the past that he would like to team up with his son, Bronny, who’s currently a freshman at USC, although there has been speculation that LeBron has softened that stance and would be happy if they’re both in the NBA at the same time. Regardless, the younger James’ draft status will be a story to watch this summer with his father approaching a decision on free agency.

LeBron has also expressed a desire to keep contending for championships in the latter part of his career. Although the Lakers didn’t make any significant moves at the trade deadline, they’re expected to be more aggressive about upgrading the roster this summer when general manager Rob Pelinka will have three future first-round picks to trade.

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