LeBron James intends to sign a new deal with the Lakers, AP source says

Sat, Jun 29, 2024
NBA News (AP)

LeBron James intends to sign a new deal with the Lakers, AP source says

LeBron James is not opting into what would have been a $51.4 million contract for this coming season and instead will seek a new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, a person with knowledge of the decision said Saturday.

The terms of the new deal could be finalized quickly, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither James nor the Lakers revealed the decision publicly. ESPN, The Athletic and the Los Angeles Times all reported the decision earlier Saturday.

The move is among those coming just ahead of the NBA's free agency period, which formally opens at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, though at least $1.2 billion in contracts already have been agreed upon because of new rules that allowed teams to speak with their own players about new deals - in many situations - starting on the day after the NBA Finals.

Among those already having agreed to deals that cannot be finalized until the new league year opens on July 6: Toronto teammates Scottie Barnes and Immanuel Quickley, Miami's Bam Adebayo, Indiana's Pascal Siakam, and New York's OG Anunoby.

It was expected that LeBron James would technically be a free agent. It's also been expected that he would stay with the Lakers.

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The Lakers selected Bronny James - LeBron James' oldest son - on Thursday in the second round of the draft, putting them in position to have the first on-court father-son duo in NBA history. And with a new deal, it's even possible that LeBron James could sign for a lower number than he could have commanded to give the Lakers additional financial flexibility for other moves.

LeBron James is a four-time champion and is about $20 million shy of becoming the first player in league history to top $500 million in on-court earnings. Add in his many off-court ventures and investments, and his net worth has been presumed to be more than $1 billion for some time now.

He'll turn 40 in December and will tie Vince Carter this season in terms of most seasons played in NBA history; the 2024-25 campaign will be James' 22nd in the league. He averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists last season - as the oldest active player in the league.

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TIM REYNOLDS Reynolds is an Associated Press sports writer, based in South Florida. twitter mailto "
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