Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $85 million contract extension, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday afternoon. James had two years left on his previous deal with the Lakers with a player option for next season. Now, it appears he’ll be under contract for at least until 2023, per Shams.
James’ player option for the 2021-22 season is worth $41 million, so the following two seasons under this extension will net him around $42.5 million per season. This is more like a one-year extension, and could be a precursor for the type of contract All-Star PF Anthony Davis is expected to sign before the season begins. AD declined his player option to seek a new deal with the Lakers. Said deal could be coming soon now that LeBron is set to remain with the team through 2023.
Davis had a $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season, which was declined. He could seek a max contract for 3-4 years to line him up with James for the foreseeable future. If that’s the case, we can expect L.A. to be title contenders for as long as both players are on the team. The Lakers are favorites to win the title this season at +300 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
James is coming off his 4th NBA title and 4th NBA Finals MVP after the Lakers beat the Heat in 2020 in six games. The veteran is set to turn 36 at the end of the month on Dec. 30. Despite the age, James hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. He finished last season second in MVP voting behind Giannis Antetokounmpo. LeBron averaged 25.3 points and 10.2 assists per game, the highest assist total of his career.
Heading into this season, James is among the favorites to win NBA MVP at 9/1 odds on DKSB. There’s a chance that we could see LeBron sit out a few more games than he’s used to in 2020-21. The Lakers’ season and title run ended the second week of October. That gave James and the team a little over two months to rest before the start of this season on Dec. 22. The Lakers are expected to start their title defense on opening night against the Los Angeles Clippers, per Shams.