Despite his history of frequent injuries, the Los Angeles Lakers inked a record-breaking three-year extension deal worth $186 million with Anthony Davis on Friday. This development has sparked speculation about LeBron James and his future with the Lakers.
Both Anthony Davis and James are represented by the same agency, Klutch Sports. With this contract extension, Davis is set to stay with the Lakers until at least the 2027-28 season, suggesting that both Klutch Sports and the Lakers might aim for a similar path for LeBron James, if feasible.
“In this whole situation, nothing occurs in isolation,” a Western Conference executive told Heavy Sports. “You can infer various implications from this, including the swiftness of the deal (Davis became eligible to sign with the Lakers on August 4, the same day it was finalized). And there’s definitely a LeBron factor involved. It’s always present.”
LeBron is heading into the last year of his contract and holds a player option for the 2024-25 season, which is worth $51.4 million.
However, nothing is certain. Following a challenging exit from the playoffs last season, James even mentioned the possibility of retiring.
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The notion of him concluding his career as he enters his 21st year in the league and turns 39 in December could indeed become a tangible option.
LeBron might also aim to leave LA and join another team to play alongside his son Bronny. However, Bronny’s NBA prospects are uncertain after experiencing a recent cardiac arrest.
Taking all these factors into account, the executive believes that ensuring Anthony Davis remains content and stays with the Lakers will motivate LeBron to conclude his career with the team.
The executive explained, “By signing AD to this contract, there’s a Klutch connection, and LeBron bears a certain level of responsibility for Davis’ Lakers journey. Naturally, there’s communication involved. If LeBron were to depart, that would alter the discussion.”
“Of course, AD can reconsider if LeBron eventually leaves the Lakers and request a trade—seems like that’s becoming common nowadays—but the underlying message to LeBron is that the Lakers want him to stay. AD’s decision to sign sends a message as well. It sets the stage for both of them to remain a duo in the foreseeable future.”