At 37 years old, LeBron James is still one of the best players in basketball, and the Lakers are doing whatever they can to lock him up for at least a few more years.
Despite some major uncertainty about the future of the team and who will be on the roster by the season opener in October, LeBron James reportedly met with Rob Pelinka and team reps today to discuss an extension on his deal.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin dropped the news in a recent tweet:
LeBron James and his representative Rich Paul of Klutch Sports met with Lakers VP of basketball ops and GM Rob Pelinka on Thursday regarding James’ eligible contract extension. Paul told ESPN the discussion was “productive” and both sides will continue a dialogue.
James currently only has one year left on his deal, which will make him a free agent next summer if extension talks fail. The question is, does LeBron really want to stay?
Besides the 2020 bubble run, Bron’s Lakers tenure hasn’t been very successful, especially during the 2021-22 campaign when the team finished 11th in the West. Despite that, experts and executives across the league overwhelming predict that James will not be going anywhere, at least not anytime soon.
Ultimately for LeBron, family is first — and his family is comfortable in Los Angeles.
That is why most people NBC Sports has spoken with around the league expect LeBron to sign the extension in some form. Eventually. He may well milk the leverage to send a message about roster changes — although it’s not like Rob Pelinka and company have not tried to trade Westbrook — but in the end, LeBron does not give off the vibe of a guy looking to bolt Los Angeles.
At this point, LeBron James is focused on more than just basketball. For James, Los Angeles is a place he can grow his brand, raise his family, and build a future for himself that transcends the sports world itself.
He’s not leaving now just because things have gotten a little rough on the court. Heck, with a few more moves, the Lakers could easily go right back to competing for a title.
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