Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
If the Los Angeles Lakers still have projects to add Giannis Antetokounmpo to the core of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, that longest shot has gotten even longer with the news that James will sign a two-year extension.
Shams Harania @ShamsCharania
The two-year extension of LeBron James with a maximum of 85 million dollars with the Los Angeles Lakers continues in the 2022-23 season, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. James̵7; 36th birthday is on December 30th. Https://t.co/MAF7WjxSWs
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, James’ new deal with the Lakers will last until 2022-23. So much for the idea that James could take a $ 10-15 million discount next season to make room for Antetokounmpo. James may have cut his hair to join Miami Heath with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch in 2010, but the story will not be repeated.
And why should I? The Lakers already have a champion team, which they have improved this season with the addition of Dennis Schroeder, Montresle Harel, Mark Gasol and Wesley Matthews. After Davis signs again (every day, Anthony, we’d like to finish to write a preview of his season), Los Angeles should be the favorite to repeat.
So much of the team’s success stems from its relationship with James and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The signing of Harel by the Los Angeles Clippers may have been a surprise to many, but should it? Klutch seems to regularly direct players to the Lakers (such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Talen Horton-Tucker, Harrell and Davis – and previously JR Smith and Dion Waiters).
And how would they get millions out of James’ well-won future contract with Klutch Sports when that money would potentially go to another agent’s superstar? The simple answer: It doesn’t happen.
But James’ extension raises other questions.
Why not extend James after the 2022-23 season?
The obvious answer seems to be his son, Broni James, a sophomore at Sierra Canyon High School. If the NBA revises the one-time rule (which is under negotiation, albeit at a lower priority because the league and the National Basketball Association work together to overcome the pandemic), James Jr. will be admitted to the set in 2023
Tom Haberstroch @tomhaberstroh
Let’s say it’s 2023. You hold No. 1 in the 2023 NBA Draft. LeBron is a free agent, still All-NBA. His son Broni is eligible for the Project. How high will Broni have to be in your Grand Council to justify taking him No. 1 so he can take LeBron? 5th? 30th? 100th?
“Hell, I’d probably like to stay if my eldest son has a chance to play against me,” James told Mark Anthony Green of GQ in 2017. “That would be, that would be the icing on the cake right there.”
Maybe this dream has gone from a race against his son to sharing a locker room?
It’s a sweet story, but the answer is a little more technical. James will be 38 when the 2023-24 campaign begins. One of the complex rules in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement is to discourage teams from handing out four or five-year deals to players who will be over 38 at the time of the contract.
James probably gave up the last year of his current contract, which made him make $ 41 million to replace this year with a slight boom to $ 41.2 million, adding another season to about $ 44.5 million. The extension starts with the current season. The addition of two more years allowed James to lock in another $ 44.7 million (approximately) without triggering the rule over 38.
He got as much as the Lakers could give. Being able to handle his son’s potential entry into the NBA is a bonus. If not, James may need to sign another one-year deal.
What does AD mean?
Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
If Davis has not yet come to terms with the Lakers, he is considering many paths to his career. Davis has eight years of experience in the NBA, which puts him at the average level of the maximum salary. He can sign with the Lakers on a starting salary of $ 32.7 million, but the question is how long does he have to sign?
If the goal is to get the largest amount of money locked under a contract, he must sign a five-year contract worth $ 189.9 million, but this may not be the most lucrative path. Davis will reach this ten-year service after the 2021-22 season, raising him to a higher max with an estimated starting salary of $ 40.5 million. A five-year contract signed in 2022 could bring Davis up to $ 235 million.
If Davis signs a three-year deal with the Lakers this week, with a player option in the last year he hasn’t exercised, and then signs a new five-season contract in 2022, he could earn a total of $ 303.2 million for a seven-year period.
This does not coincide with James’s free agency in 2023, although Davis may make a decision based on factors other than maximum profit potential. He could even sign for just one season and take a huge discount for a player like Antetokounmpo, but that would be silly given the prize he would reciprocate.
Is the Lakers’ dream of Janice dying?
Probably. In 2021, the Lakers chased the room was always conscious. The team petitioned the league to bring the dead $ 10 million to Luol Deng, but to no avail. The Lakers chose not to extend the canceled contracts of Quinn Cook and Jordan Bell, saving an additional $ 526,687 in potential restriction space next summer.
Mori Gash / Associated Press
Instead, their combined salary of $ 1.6 million will prevent the Lakers from signing the 15th player to start the season (the team is hard to limit to $ 138.9 million after using its mid-level tax exemption). Harrell). This is a short-term problem that will be solved in a few months. As the price of the minimum contract changes daily downwards, the latter position can be used to add another player to the redemption market months down.
After re-signing Jared Dudley, the Lakers are 13 players with enough room for one more (but not two). They also have a pair of two-way players, including Costas Antetokumpompo, the NBA’s current younger brother, the Most Valuable Player.
The Lakers appear to be building a relationship with another agency in the Octagon, where Janice Antetokumpoma is partnering with Alex Saracis and Jeff Austin. Is it a coincidence that Schroeder, Matthews and the younger Antetokumpoma have an octagon?
Wasn’t it the first year with Caldwell-Pope, a year before James arrived in Los Angeles, for the Lakers to start building a relationship with Paul and Clutch? It doesn’t take long to see the Lakers try to follow the same path.
But now that James is in the book, and assuming the Lakers can trade Caldwell-Pope, Gasol and their first-round pick in 2021 after not taking a paycheck, Davis will have to take a discount of about 10 million dollars to give the team enough room cap.
Aside from asking too much of Davis, it would probably mean that the Lakers are splitting with Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Harel, Caldwell-Pope, Schroeder and almost everyone else on the list. Of course, if the Bucks were willing to trade Antetokounmpo for Kuzma, Caruso, Harel, Caldwell-Pope, Schroeder and almost everyone else on the list, they could have a deal.
If Los Angeles has any faint hope, it’s that Antetokounmpo is demanding a deal … on the Lake Given the Lakers’ shortage of tradable future first-class picks (most tied to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Davis deal), Bucks apparently they will do their best to get their star to sign again. But if that fails, the Lakers may not be at the top of their priority list if they still decide to move Antetokounmpo.
What does it say about the Lakers-Clutch relationship?
This is a partnership. The Lakers take care of James. James takes care of the Lakers. This is a mutually beneficial symbiosis.
The addition of Harel, one of the best players in the league in the last few years, is a great example.
And if the Lakers can find a way to draw Armor James when the time comes, they can move mountains to do so to extend their game with James as much as possible.
What else does this suggest for the Lakers’ future?
Enough with the third star. The Lakers have just won the title and upgraded the list. They can now play the 2020-21 season to see if they have the right form around Davis and James.
If Schroeder is the secondary playmaker / goal scorer in addition to James, then they can reinvest in him after this season. Kuzma is eligible for extension and if he continues to grow, he must be given a contract.
Harel may be looking for a higher salary (he has a player option after the season), but he may also be a long-term figure for the Lakers.
Take away the pressure to build a great team and the Lakers may actually already have something special. James and Davis together are more than what almost any team can offer.
At some point, James will begin to slow down with age. But if last season is an indicator, he and the Lakers will remain a force for a while.
Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter, @EricPincus.