LeBron James is officially eligible to sign a contract extension with the Lakers. Last week, James and his agent, Rich Paul, CEO of Klutch Sports met with head coach Darvin Ham and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka to discuss a potential extension with LA.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday that the group did discuss a new contract, but that wasn't the main topic of discussion at the Lakers El Segundo practice facility.
Per Haynes, the main iron in the fire was sharing strategies on how to avoid another disappointing Lakers season.
"And while contract dialogue was broached, the majority of the hour-long meeting was about expressing concerns, and hearing out strategies and opinions to assure there wouldn’t be a repeat of last season’s epic failure, league sources told Yahoo Sports."
James apparently reiterated his desire to compete for a championship.
"James, sources said, drilled home the importance of consistent competitiveness and cohesion, noting that last season’s team didn’t give themselves a chance on many nights. The focus for the future Hall of Famer is competing every night in order to give themselves a chance to compete for a championship."
Reading between the lines of that snippet seems to point to James' desire to continue to push the Lakers front office to expend their remaining draft capital to facilitate trading away Russell Westbrook.
James has three options currently regarding his contract status: play out his current contract and hit free agency next summer, sign a one-year extension, or sign a two-year, $97M extension with the second year of the deal likely being a player option.
LeBron has until June 30th, 2023 to sign an extension, but the 18-time All-Star entering the season without inking a new contract will inevitably create a soap opera that could result in the same script from last year.