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Russell Westbrook trade talk takes up most of the oxygen in the room when it comes to the Lakers. Now to be fair, Anthony Davis did his best earlier this week to get back into the Lakers news cycle after his recent admission. One topic that looms large, but hasn't been discussed nearly as often as Russ' future in LA or Davis' perceived lack of work ethic, is LeBron James' contract extension.

A recent article by Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report notes that LeBron isn't expected to commit to signing the contract extension he's eligible for on August 4th. 

"The Lakers are stuck without a commitment from James, whose contract expires after the 2022-23 season. Competing executives and agents do not expect the team to get clarity from James ahead of the draft and free agency." 

Pincus, a noted NBA cap expert, discussed the impact of LeBron's reported refusal to commit to an extension before the NBA Draft (June 23) and free agency.

"James could help make decisions easier if he verbally commits to an additional two seasons, timing his contract with Anthony Davis through 2024-25 (although Davis has an early termination option to leave one year sooner). Unpleasant salary is easier to digest in trade if the Lakers are reinvested in James with Davis. The last thing the team would want to do is eat up its 2023-24 cap space on players it doesn't value with James leaving as an unrestricted free agent."

Back in May, The Athletic's Sam Amick reported that Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has zero plans to exploring trading LeBron James even if he doesn't sign a long-term deal with Los Angeles. 

From what it sounds like, the Lakers front office is willing to work with LeBron's patented year-by-year approach moving forward. 

LA will just have to accept the challenges that come with.