A new report indicates that it seems unlikely that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James will commit to signing a contract extension with the team.
Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report looked at how the Lakers have been hoping to get a sign about James’ intentions prior to the 2022 NBA Draft and the start of free agency.
“The Lakers were paralyzed at the trade deadline without clarity from James, and they remain so,” wrote Pincus. “The star forward is eligible for an extension on August 4, but most of the team’s moves will need to happen in June and July.
“The Lakers are stuck without a commitment from James, whose contract expires after the 2022-23 season. Competing executives and agents do not expect the team to get clarity from James ahead of the draft and free agency.”
James signed with the Lakers as a free agent in 2018 and helped lead the team to an NBA title in 2020. His other three seasons have been marred by injuries that twice kept the team from reaching the playoffs.
Ordinarily, a player who’s turning 38 years old in December might have to be concerned about simply having a deal in place for an upcoming campaign.
However, James is set to begin his 20th year, and when healthy, still puts up consistent numbers across the board.
Earlier this year, James spoke about playing with whatever team chooses his son in a draft. That potential selection won’t occur before his current deal with the Lakers expires.
James has always been passionate about competing for NBA titles, a quest that’s helped him capture four NBA championship rings and four Finals MVP awards.
The Lakers faced plenty of struggles during the 2021-22 season, with both James and Anthony Davis dealing with injuries.
That’s why having another season without a deep playoff run may have a major impact on any contract extension for James.
Without any clear sign coming from James, the Lakers are entering an offseason landscape with some difficult terrain ahead.