LeBron James Eyeing Pay Cut For Lakers To Land 1 Of These Stars

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Rumors, Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

With his next contract, LeBron James plans to strengthen the Los Angeles Lakers’ chances of contending for another NBA championship. He opted out of his $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season, creating an avenue for flexibility.

While he is eligible for a three-year, $162 million contract, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that James is open to accepting a smaller contract to help the Lakers unlock the $12.9 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception, allowing the team to sign a difference-making talent potentially.

“The type of player that James would be willing to make a financial sacrifice for would be an established veteran playmaker like James Harden or Klay Thompson, or an established big man to play alongside Anthony Davis – like Jonas Valančiūnas,” McMenamin wrote.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

James, 39, continues to be a formidable force. This season, he averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds, helping the Lakers to a 47-35 record and a playoff berth.

The Lakers’ playoff run was cut short when the Denver Nuggets eliminated them in five games. This led to the firing of head coach Darvin Ham, and JJ Redick now takes over. There is still a strong motivation to contend for a second championship with James before he retires.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Klay Thompson, James Harden, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

In the 2024 NBA Draft, the Lakers selected Dalton Knecht and LeBron’s son, Bronny James. Still, adding another veteran to the team could be critical for the Lakers to compete with the elite teams in the Western Conference. D’Angelo Russell could be a trade candidate to monitor.

James could still get a max deal if the Lakers cannot get one of their targets to take a pay cut to sign for the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.

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