LeBron James is finally in the window where he can extend his contract beyond the end of the 2022-23 season. With Bronny James projected to be entering the league in 2024, there is a chance that LeBron doesn’t even intend on staying with the Lakers. The team has not agreed on his wishes multiple times over the last season, from passing on DeMar DeRozan for Russell Westbrook to not trading Westbrook away for Kyrie Irving yet.
However, there is a chance LeBron signs the extension and entitles himself to $50 million a season through ages 39 and 40. That would be a pretty payday for anyone, but LeBron is already a billionaire and doesn’t need the cash from his contract to maintain his lifestyle.
As a result, Skip Bayless has challenged LeBron to take a discount on his next extension to give the Lakers some room to add talent around LeBron, similar to what Tim Duncan had done towards the end of his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs did a good job with the space that Duncan left them but saying they were entitled to 2 championships is just Skip Bayless being biased towards his favorite team. Calling LeBron James less valuable than Tim Duncan is also very unfair considering what LeBron has objectively achieved on the court.
If the Lakers get LeBron to take a discount, they could easily attract some of the best talent in the league to LA and be able to pay them well.
It doesn’t look like LeBron is planning on re-signing so early into his option period. He still has the 2022-23 season to play out and see how the Lakers do. If Westbrook gets moved and the Lakers can actually push towards contention this season. If they do, LeBron does have 1 more year to see out before Bronny makes his way into the NBA.