18th of August: The Lakers have officially signed James for an extension, the team announced (Twitter link via Marc Stein).
August 17: Superstar forward Lebron James has agreed to a contract extension with the lakersagent Rich Paul from Klutch Sports tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
According to Wojnarowski, it will be a new two-year maximum-salary deal that includes an option for second-year players. That means James is now signed with the Lakers through at least the 2023-24 season, with an option to 24-25. The agreement also includes a 15 percent trade kicker, Woj adds.
James earns $44,474,988 in 2022-23, which exceeds the standard maximum of $43,279,250 for a player with more than 10 years of NBA experience. Still eligible for a 5% raise on a new renewal, LeBron’s 2023-24 salary will likely be $46,698,737. His 24/25 player option will be worth $50,434,636, an 8% increase in the first year of his renewal, for a total of $97,133,373 over two years.
The value of James’ extension could continue to rise if the ’23-24 NBA salary cap comes in higher than expected. The cap is currently projected at $133 million, but if it ends up exceeding $133,425,000, LeBron’s starting salary for renewal would be worth 35% of the cap instead.
[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Contract Extension Tracker]
James was eligible for a new two-year extension on August 4. Due to the NBA’s over-38 rule, he was not eligible to sign a contract longer than this.
Despite his new eligibility, there was a feeling James wasn’t going to jump into a new deal right away. The four-time MVP would have been able to retain influence and perhaps exert more influence over Lakers roster movements if he had withheld that commitment. That trail would also have given LeBron a chance to assess the team’s new additions — and the new head coach Darwin ham – in the 2022/23 season.
However, it appears that despite last season’s disappointing 33-49 result and ongoing roster questions, James was comfortable renewing his commitment to the Lakers. The new deal will give LeBron the opportunity to become an unrestricted free agent at the age of 39. At this point, he is expected to attempt to bond with his son Bronnie Jameswho would not be entitled to vote until 2024 at the earliest.
While the Lakers almost certainly wouldn’t have considered moving him anyway, James will not be tradeable due to his extension during the 2022-23 season – he cannot be treated six months after signing the contract as it exceeds the NBA’s “Extend -and-Trade” Restrictions.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks (insider link) previously noted, the Lakers’ potential 2023 cap room isn’t really affected by James’ new renewal, as his free agent cap hold would have matched his renewal salary. Los Angeles plans to have over $20 million in the room next summer if several deals are finalized — including Russell Westbrook‘s – Forfeit, giving the team some options but not enough for another maxed player.
James’ new deal makes him the highest-paid player in NBA history by total earnings, at least for now, Marks tweets. Assuming LeBron’s deal ends up being worth $97.1 million, it will sit at and surpass $532 million in career earnings Kevin Durant$508 million.