The Los Angeles Lakers did what they should do this offseason, they signed LeBron James to a contract extension.
Still, the financial terms of LeBron’s new deal don’t seem to have gone down well with some members of the fan base and the media. with Fox Sports Skip Bayless sounds, again on how much LeBron expects to make over the next two to three years. In fairness, Bayless comments come after LeBron landed another lucrative endorsement deal that further boosts his nearly limitless income from non-basketball pursuits.
“Another huge (and lucrative) national TV spot for LeBron (with Lily) … but he insisted on getting the maximum out of the Lakers rather than (like Tim Duncan or Brady) giving his team more leeway to improve the supporting cast . I just do not understand. Doesn’t he want to win anymore???” Bayless wrote on Twitter.
Slated to take effect next summer, LeBron’s new contract is potentially worth $97 million over two seasons, with the second year – valued at $50 million – being a player option. Bayless’ problem with LeBron’s new deal isn’t that the veteran superstar doesn’t deserve it, but that he has enough revenue streams to strike a more team-friendly deal, giving the Lakers more leeway to operate free-hand and construct a competing team around him.
As legendary power forward Tim Duncan’s career wound its way into the last few years, he opted for lower-paying deals to give the San Antonio Spurs enough flexibility to fill their roster with elite depth.
Bayless was adamant that LeBron should follow a path similar to Duncan’s. and was even on record making that argument in 2017, at least that’s how he was consistent in his criticism of the superstar.
However, given LeBron’s status as one of the greatest basketball players in history, it doesn’t make sense for him to leave money on the table, especially when the Lakers currently have three true superstars in LeBron, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis — which means they should this trio is considered a championship contender each season.
For most players in their late 30s, signing a Max contract is unfathomable, but LeBron isn’t the majority of players, and he proved that last season as he continued to punish teams and draw the NBA’s attention.
In 56 regular-season games, LeBron averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 35.9% from deep and 62% from two-point range — moving further than established timeless veteran who could still fit into the starting lineup of any team in the league despite approaching his 38th birthday.
LeBron’s ability to defy the aging process and continue to play at the elite level ensured his ability to earn another big payday as he’s not just a jersey selling name, he’s still one of the top five players overall League that can help you win a championship – all the Lakers have to do is bring a winning mix of talent around them onto the pitch.