LeBron James has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, avoiding free agency next offseason, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
"BREAKING: Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has agreed on a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension – including a player option for the 2024-2025 season, @KlutchSports CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN," Wojnarowski tweeted. "James had been entering the final year of a deal worth $44.5M."
James' starting salary is set at $46.7 million and the extension also includes a 15% trade kicker, which makes the four-time NBA MVP the highest-earning player in NBA history with $532 million, according to Wojnarowski.
The extension will make James ineligible for a no-trade clause as it is added to his previous contract with the Lakers, as he'll be due a 5% raise implemented in the second year of his new contract, according to Wojnarowski.
James, 38, and teammate Anthony Davis are now both under contract with Los Angeles through the next two seasons, with the ability to negotiate new deals ahead of their respective free agency periods in the 2024 offseason.
Los Angeles could have more than $20 million in salary-cap space entering the 2023 offseason and would be able to sign a third max contract in 2024 to pair another superstar with James and Davis, ESPN reports.
James is limited to signing a two-year extension as part of a newly implemented rule prohibiting players 38 and older from signing longer-term contracts as part of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.
The Akron native averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game during the 2021-22 NBA season, however, was limited to just 56 games as the Lakers fell short of the postseason.
The 38-year-old enters his 20th NBA season as the NBA's all-time combined leading scorer with 44,693 total points in the regular-season and postseason, as well as second behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) for the NBA all-time scoring record with 37,062 regular-season points.
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