LeBron lands 2-year, $97.1M deal with Lakers

by Gordon Dixon - Lakers star LeBron James has agreed on a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that includes a player option for the 2024-2025 season, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers agree to 2-year, $97.1 million extension that includes 3rd-year player option play LeBron, Bronny and Bryce all slam down dunks at Lakers' facility (0:27) LeBron James brings his sons Bronny and Bryce to work with him, and they all show off with some big dunks. (0:27) 2:58 PM ET Adrian WojnarowskiSenior NBA Insider Close Host of The Woj Pod Joined ESPN in 2017 Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that includes a player option for the 2024-25 season, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN on Wednesday. The extension, which includes a 15% trade kicker, makes James the highest-earning player in NBA history with $532 million in guaranteed money, surpassing Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant . James is ineligible for a no-trade clause because he agreed on an extension -- not a new deal. But the new deal's starting salary of $46.7 million, the 15% trade kicker and James' stature as one of history's great players likely make him a Laker for as long as he chooses. James had been entering the final season of his contract -- worth $44.5 million -- and now joins All-Star Anthony Davis with the ability to negotiate new deals with the Lakers or become free agents in two seasons. Editor's Picks NBA 'all-in' tiers: Who is focused on the present, the future or is stuck in between? 1h Tim Bontemps and Kevin Pelton 1 Related With the deal, the four-time NBA champion and MVP and an 18-time All-Star eliminates concern that he could enter free agency next summer. Despite approaching 38 years old, James remains an All-NBA level player and the centerpiece of the Lakers' contention hopes. James is ineligible to be traded during the upcoming 2022-23 season because the second year of his new extension exceeds a 5% raise. The Lakers could have north of $20 million in salary-cap space in the 2023 offseason and would have the ability to sign a third max contract player in the 2024 offseason. The player options increase salary-cap space if players decline them, and yet remain on new deals. James, who turns 38 on Dec. 30, is limited to signing a two-year extension because he will be 38 or older when his current deal expires, a rule in the league's collective bargaining agreement. The Lakers missed the playoffs in 2021-2022, despite James averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. Injuries limited James to 56 games.