LeBron’s extension with the Lakers sets up a massive career move in 2024

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

What does LeBron James’ two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, as reported Wednesday by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, mean for both sides’ futures?

Forestalling speculation about the possibility of him becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, LeBron agreed to the extension less than two weeks after becoming eligible because enough time has passed since his last extension with the Lakers, which was set to expire after this season.

Although a player option for the 2024-25 season still allows James to head elsewhere in time to play with his oldest son Bronny when he becomes eligible for the draft in 2024, the extension gives the Lakers more certainty about how long LeBron will be part of their future.

In turn, that could impact how the Lakers approach the final season of Russell Westbrook’s contract and a choice between using his $47 million expiring salary in a trade before the February deadline or allowing it to expire, potentially creating cap space next summer.

Let’s break down the implications of LeBron’s extension and what comes next for him and the Lakers.

Lakers on LeBron’s timeline?

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