“For LeBron James I think this is a beautiful thing” - NBA analyst says LeBron James has leveraged the marketplace for Bronny James to be a lottery pick

2021 Hoophall West - Perry v Sierra Canyon
2021 Hoophall West - Perry v Sierra Canyon

LA Lakers superstar LeBron James has agreed to an extension with the franchise for two more years. King James' current contract expires in the summer of next 2023 and this new deal has guaranteed his stay with the Lakers until at least the summer of 2024.

On ESPN's morning show Get Up, former NBA player Jay Williams spoke about the impact of this new deal on the four-time champion. Williams said that the deal is about James looking at the possibility of playing with Bronny James in the NBA. Williams believes that James is in a position to play with his son irrespective of where Bronny gets drafted.

"I love this for LeBron James. Because for LeBron James I think this is a beautiful thing because in 2024-25 when Bronny James is able to come out and be drafted, I think he's leveraged the marketplace for his son to be potentially taken in the lottery.
"In two years from now, when LeBron James is still operating at a high level, you're telling me the market for LeBron James to have his last hurrah, his last dance for teams like the Orlando Magic or the Sacramento Kings, isn't going to leverage the marketplace for his son to be drafted?"

With James having a player-option for the 2024-25 season and Bronny eligible for the draft in 2024, chances are that LeBron will take his talents to wherever his first-born is drafted to. James will be a free agent if he opts-out and can sign with any team in the NBA.

The four-time Finals MVP's salary shouldn't be an issue as he can sign a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum or even mid-level exception.


Repercussions of LeBron James' new deal

2022 NBA Summer League - Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
2022 NBA Summer League - Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James agreeing to a two-year extension with the LA Lakers has severe consequences for the franchise. For starters, this affects their ability to sign a marquee free agent next summer with the likes of Kyrie Irving, Khris Middleton and others all headlining the 2023 free agency class.

Congrats @KingJames on your 2 year 97.1M dollar extension and becoming the highest paid player in the history of the NBA! #Klutch

James' new two-year deal will see him earn close to $100 million over those two years. Had King James taken a paycut like James Harden did with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers would have had the opportunity to go after one of the free agents.

Now, the Lakers are forced to surround King James and Anthony Davis with role players and not players on max deals. However, it was this strategy that worked for them during the 2019-20 championship-winning season.

Most guaranteed career earnings (millions): $532 — LeBron James$499 — Kevin Durant$470 — Steph Curry$450 — Damian Lillard👑

Another aspect of this new deal is that the LA Lakers could suddenly find themselves without AD or LeBron in 2024 as the former has an early termination option on his contract. Given Davis' contract runs until 2025, the All-Star could opt for an early termination and walk away from the franchise in 2024.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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