LeBron James is not leaving Los Angeles any time soon.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Lakers, which includes a player option for the 2024-25 season. If the salary cap increases the deal could potential rise to $111 million.
James will play this season under the final year of his current contract, which is worth $44.5 million, before the extension kicks in for the 2023-24 season.
The deal also makes James the highest-earning player in NBA history, garnering $532 million in guaranteed money.
There had been speculation about James’ future with Los Angeles after back-to-back disappointing seasons following an NBA championship in 2020, which they won in the COVID bubble.
But the extension means he will not become a free agent next summer and could potentially be with the Lakers in his age-40 season, signaling the possibility he could end his career with Los Angeles.
However, James has also said he would want to play with his son, Bronny, before he retires. It is possible James could opt out if Bronny is eligible for the draft in two years, which could set off one last free agency bonanza.
Last year, James averaged 30.3 points per game — the second most in his career — and 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
The news set off a wave of reaction on social media as well: