LeBron James can sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers as soon as this week. And while he has expressed extreme excitement over one recent team signing, nobody is reading into that much.
Should he choose not to extend, his status for 2023-24 will be very much up in the air.
Understandably, many have taken to wondering what James’ alternatives to L.A. are. For obvious reasons the Cleveland Cavaliers have become a popular potential suitor.
During a recent appearance on The Wine And Gold Talk podcast, Bleacher Report NBA insider Jake Fischer spelled out the one condition that could lead to James returning to Cleveland.
“It was explained to me that a reunion from Cleveland’s side of things would have to be on shared terms… I think it’s going to be more of a, ‘How can we make this work for all of us? How can we be a team? How can we add you to what we’re doing?’”
Which makes sense. Once upon a time, the Cavaliers were a franchise in disarray. They had zero leverage in talks with James. If it took mortgaging the farm to bring him back, their hand would be forced.
But that’s no longer the case. On paper, the Cavs have a playoff team on their hands. A 38-year-old, expensive, past-his-prime superstar — even if he is an all-time great — isn’t an easy sell.
James can extend with the Lakers for up to two more seasons at roughly $97.1 million. If he did that, it would line up his last season with Anthony Davis’.
It will be interesting to see if he goes that route. Up to this point, it has been widely speculated that James would only leave the Lakers under one condition. But with him, who knows.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 3, 2022
One way or another, what happens with L.A. over the next few days will have massive ramifications for the franchise for many years to come.
Which direction will all parties involved opt to go in?
Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.