LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the 2018-19 season and led the team to an NBA title in only his second season on the roster. He plans on delivering another championship, and the team is ensuring that he will be around to do so. James just signed a two-year extension worth $85 million.
James' agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, confirmed the contract extension to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The four-time NBA MVP had two years remaining on his four-year, $153 million deal he signed with the Lakers in 2018. This deal also includes a player option for the 2021-22 season. James will now be under contract through the end of the 2023 season.
James is 35 years old and is entering his 18th season in the NBA. Despite his "advanced age," he is still producing on the court and recently earned the honor of Finals MVP in the Orlando bubble. James also led the league in assists (10.2) while finishing second in the MVP vote behind GiannisAntetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Now that the contract negotiations are over, James has big plans for the 2020-21 season. He recently expressed confidence about the Lakers and the team's ability to defend its title. He said that they can "absolutely" repeat.
"We can [repeat]. I mean, it's that simple," James said on the podcast Road Trippin'. "We absolutely can. ... First of all, it all starts with health. You have to have some luck. You have to have health. If we can stay healthy."
James then listed out some of the reasons why the Lakers will repeat, citing the recent roster moves. The Lakers agreed to a deal with ex-Clippers star Montrezl Harrell and then acquired point guard Dennis Schroder in a trade. Additionally, the Lakers then signed center Marc Gasol.0comments
"We did get younger," James said during the episode. "We have a 27-year-old point guard [Schroder]. We got the 27-year-old Sixth Man of the Year award [winner] in Trezz [Harrell]. We got younger. We got Marc, who is a Defensive Player of the Year and his IQ, not only playing against him in the NBA, but also playing against him versus Spain with the national team."
The Lakers will kick off the quest to win a second consecutive championship on Dec. 22. The organization will continue its rivalry against the Clippers as the second game of the doubleheader. This opener will likely serve as the first opportunity for fans to watch James in action once again. He hinted during the podcast that he will not play during the preseason games.