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LeBron James Signs Extension and Should Retire A Laker

Big news for Laker fans today.

The NBA schedule dropped Wednesday afternoon and that was the biggest NBA news. The end. Thanks for the click!

Just kidding. LeBron James just had to drop this giant news bomb on Wednesday, also.

That's two more seasons of James in a Lakers uniform. I'm no math wizard but this would probably sew up James' career and he'll likely retire in purple and gold. This is also historic news as the extension includes a 15% trade kicker, making James the highest-earning player in NBA history with $532 million in career guaranteed salary.

Staying In LA

There is no "no-trade clause" in James' contract. Fear, not Laker fans, this is because James agreed to an extension as opposed to a new deal where the entire framework would have been re-done. This means both James and star forward/center Anthony Davis are locked up for the next two seasons in Laker-land. Whatever the Lakers front office is committed two in the next two seasons centers around these two big pieces. Rumors are still in the water about a possible trade for Russell Westbrook, but James' extensions mean they see James and Davis as their centerpieces. Why not? James and Davis led a talented cast of support players to a championship in 2020 during the NBA bubble. Last season's calamity of a team never really built chemistry around aging veterans and the "AARP team." Lakers GM Rob Pelinka believes they can work out the kinks or trade away Westbrook.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski, this extension could be pointing to a huge signing after the upcoming season.

"The Lakers could have north of $20 million in salary-cap space in the 2023 offseason and would have the ability to sign a third max contract player in the 2024 offseason. The player options increase salary-cap space if players decline them, and yet remain on new deals."

James turns 38 at the end of the year, but Father time has not fully caught up to him. After four championships, four MVPs, and 18 All-Star selections, James has proven he is still elite. Last season he still averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. James takes great care (and invests heavily) in his body. Father Time does eventually come to collect from everyone, however. There is no certainty, but this extension recalls James' previous statements about his future in Los Angeles.

“I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers."

Last Thoughts

Today's NBA is a lot more chaotic. Players leave franchises at the drop of a hat. Players steer NBA front office decisions more than at any other time, and more than in any other sport. James is no stranger to these kinds of dramatic changes. It would be nice for James' hall of fame career if he could finish it in Los Angeles. Whenever James does hang it up, he will get the farewell tour of a lifetime. It'd be nice if he did not have one more dramatic team departure before that happens.