Report: Multiple sources believe LeBron James will sign 1+1 deal with Lakers

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has a major decision looming regarding his future with the team.

James is now eligible to sign an extension to stay in Los Angeles, and he reportedly is expected to sign one in some form with the Lakers.

“That is why most people NBC Sports has spoken with around the league expect LeBron to sign the extension in some form,” NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin wrote. “Eventually. He may well milk the leverage to send a message about roster changes — although it’s not like Rob Pelinka and company have not tried to trade [Russell] Westbrook — but in the end, LeBron does not give off the vibe of a guy looking to bolt Los Angeles.”

Helin explained that James has some options with the Lakers’ potential extension offer and added that some sources believe he will prioritize flexibility with his deal.

“LeBron has three options with the Lakers’ extension offer:

1) Ignore it, don’t sign it, and become a free agent next summer.
2) Sign it for the full two years and lock himself in with the Lakers until age 40.
3) Sign for one additional year, or one year with a player option for the second year (a 1+1).

“Option 3 keeps LeBron settled in Los Angeles but with flexibility if and when Bronny enters the NBA in another market. Most sources NBC spoke with expected LeBron will go with option three — a 1+1 — but that he may take his time signing it. There is no rush. And if that keeps the pressure on the Lakers to upgrade the roster, all the better.”

The Lakers have yet to make a major move this offseason to improve their roster after missing the playoffs in the 2021-22 season.

While the team has brought in Thomas Bryant, Lonnie Walker IV and Juan Toscano-Anderson, the Lakers also lost guard Malik Monk, who was an important part of the team’s offense last season.

In addition, Westbrook is still on the team, and his fit with the roster was questionable at best last season.

James is still on top of his game, as he had an impressive season in the 2021-22 campaign. The four-time NBA champion averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from beyond the arc.

James currently has a ton of leverage over the Lakers, as he has the option to play out the final season of his deal and then leave in the offseason following the 2022-23 campaign. However, it appears he will more than likely sign an extension with the Lakers that will give him flexibility in the future.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.