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“He will restrict Lakers from signing new players” NBA Insider firmly believes LeBron James could stop the growth and vision of LA Lakers

LeBron James didn’t jump on to the contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers right away. Many speculated it was a safer move for him, but NBA insider Tim Bontemps believes that it is in the best interest of both parties.

Lebron James

LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers had a meeting regarding his contract extension. Other points were also discussed, but many eyes were on LeBron’s decision for next season. Interestingly no one had a definite answer as the contract remained unsigned, but he has time to do so. It kept the window slightly open for other franchises to lure 4-time NBA Champion with their championship contender roster. Lakers superstar LeBron James has never been afraid to jump another franchise in order to improve his odds of winning a championship. He already had done it before when opted to take his talents to South Beach after spending his first seven seasons in Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Rich Paul, LeBron James and Rob Pelinka

The discussion of LeBron’s ongoing contract extension talks with the Lakers this summer kicked off some thought exercises from experts about whether or not James would be willing to go down that path if things go the wrong side in LA again.

But NBA writer and analyst Tim Bontemps believes that this is a very calculated move, with the Lakers’ current situation. He argued that LeBron will resign with the Lakers in 2023 completing his 1st tenure, and that will allow the Lakers to have some flexibility to add effective pieces around him and Anthony Davis.

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On NBA on ESPN show, Tim said, “If you look at the situation the Lakers are in, we talk about they don’t have salary cap space to go out fill in the roster around LeBron and Anthony Davis. And one way they have to do that is for LeBron to wait till next summer, opt out of his contract and like James Harden summer with Philly, take some less amount of money and allow them to fill in around him and Anthony Davis.”

35-year-old Bontemps spoke about some commercials impacting Laker’s decisions going forward, but he does have some points to make Lakers think about the future.

Will LeBron James sign with the Los Angeles Lakers on a lesser contract?

Lebron James

LeBron James will be playing his 20th season in the league and at the end on 2023, he will be 38, entering into his 21st season. In the previous nineteen seasons played, LeBron has accomplished much more than any megastar would dream of. He played in 10 NBA finals, won 4 championships, and was even named Finals MVP in all those championships runs.

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He definitely is the current epitome of the league and represents NBA worldwide. In the age of max and supermax contracts, t would be difficult to imagine a player like LeBron James settling for a lesser value contract. But it is not impossible for sure. We have seen the Warriors players taking a pay cut in order to absorb Kevin Durant into the team. Recently, as Bontemps said, James Harden did a similar thing to help Philadelphia make a splash in free agency. So the idea can’t be ruled out.

Tim Bontemps continued on his point, as he said, “If he (LeBron) signs extension now, Lakers will be stuck in same situation they are now, and they will be in the same situation going forward because they have no other contract to trade, they have no other way to create salary to get players on the roster.”      

Talking about the 2023 Los Angeles Lakers, they will be having Anthony Davis, Talen Horton Tucker, Damian Jones, and Max Christie on their books. LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Austin Reaves, and Thomas Bryant will be free agents in 2023 summer. With Davis taking up around 20% of the salary cap, LeBron’s contract would put them in alarming mode and hand them very little to play with.

That being said, in a recent meeting with LeBron, Pelinka reportedly stated that he’s willing to do everything in his power to ensure that James can continue to compete for championships. The coming months could be very crucial for them in order to prove to LeBron that he can be part of the championship team again.  

The Lakers standing pat with the current roster could lead to the roster’s most important player asking out of LA. But things could certainly turn around if the Lakers perform exceedingly well in 2022 with the current roster.

Also Read: “Kind of generous” NBA Insider believes it is wrong to expect Lakers to turn their future around next season

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