LeBron James' stint as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers has just been extended. On Wednesday, the four-time NBA MVP agreed to a two-year, $85 million maximum contract extension with the Lakers, according to his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, via Shams Charania of The Athletic. Prior to the extension, James had two years remaining on the four-year, $153 million deal he signed with the Lakers in 2018, including a player option for the 2021-22 season. Now, he will be under contract through 2023. Interestingly enough, this is the same year that James' son, Bronny, graduates high school, and could potentially enter the league if the rule regarding draft eligibility is altered by then.
Locking the future Hall of Famer up for a couple more years was a no-brainer for the Lakers, as James still appears to be near the peak of his powers as a player despite the fact that he is 35 years old and entering his 18th season in the league. James is fresh off leading the Lakers to their first NBA title since 2010, and he was named Finals MVP in Orlando for his efforts in the series. James led the league in assists per game (10.2) last season for the first time in his career, while also adding 25.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per performance. As a result, James finished second in MVP voting behind Giannis Antetokounmpo.
James is clearly happy in L.A., and with the direction that the franchise is headed in. He's also confident that the Lakers can raise another banner in the coming season.
"We can [repeat]. I mean, it's that simple," James said recently on an episode of the podcast "Road Trippin'," via ESPN. "We absolutely can. ... First of all, it all starts with health. You have to have some luck. You have to have health. If we can stay healthy."
The Lakers lost several key cogs from their title run in Orlando, as Dwight Howard, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo are now all on other teams. However, they also gained a ton of talent over the offseason by adding Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews and Marc Gasol. In turn, the Lakers got a little younger, and James is excited about the additions.
"We did get younger," James said. "We have a 27-year-old point guard [in Schroder]. We got the 27-year-old Sixth Man of the Year award [winner] in Trezz. We got younger. We got Marc, who is a Defensive Player of the Year and his IQ, not only playing against him in the NBA, but also playing against him versus Spain with the national team."
Now that James is extended, the next move for the Lakers will be to lock down Anthony Davis in a new deal. Once that is done, the Lakers will have an open title window that projects to extend for several seasons.