Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James Agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that includes a player option through the 2024-25 season, Clutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN on Wednesday.
The extension, which includes a 15% trade kicker, makes James the highest-paid player in NBA history with $532 million in career guarantees, surpassing the Brooklyn Nets star. Kevin Durant.
James isn’t a rookie — he’s ineligible for the no-trade clause because he agreed to an extension. But the new contract’s starting salary of $46.7 million, a 15% trade kicker and James’ status as one of the greatest players in history will make him a Laker until he chooses.
James entered the final season of his contract (worth $44.5 million) and is now an All-Star Anthony Davis The ability to negotiate new contracts with the Lakers or become free agents in two seasons.
With the deal, the four-time NBA champion and MVP and 18-time All-Star allays concerns that he could enter free agency next summer. Approaching 38 years old, James remains an All-NBA player and the centerpiece of the Lakers’ contentious hopes.
James is not eligible to be traded through the upcoming 2022-23 season because the second year of his extension exceeds the 5% raise.
The Lakers have north of $20 million in salary-cap space in the 2023 offseason and the ability to sign a third-highest player in the 2024 offseason. Players decline player options that increase salary-cap space and still remain on new contracts.
Dec. James, who turns 38 on the 30th, must sign a two-year extension because he will be 38 or older when his current contract expires, according to a provision in the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Despite James averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists, the Lakers missed the playoffs in 2022. Injuries limited James to 56 games.
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