LeBron James Is Officially The Highest-Earning Player In NBA History
— Updated on 18 May 2023

LeBron James Is Officially The Highest-Earning Player In NBA History

— Updated on 18 May 2023

Ordinarily, the idea of giving a 38-year-old player a two-year, US$97.1 million (AU$140 million) contract extension – including a player option for the 2024-25 season – would be cause of great concern. The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, should be counting their blessings that LeBron James has chosen to stay anywhere near the organisation.

Last season, the Lakers missed the NBA playoffs despite James averaging 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists across 56 games played. Regardless of your own sentiments towards Russell Westbrook, it’s hard to deny his acquisition has turned out to be a disaster (for just about everyone involved). It’s unclear at this stage whether the King’s decision to sign on for a couple more seasons indicates any forthcoming improvements to the roster, but the franchise is very fortunate that he has.

RELATED: How LeBron James Became The First Active NBA Player To Achieve Billionaire Status

Prior to signing the extension, this upcoming season was the last on the Lakers’ contract with LeBron James and was said to earn him US$44.5 million (AU$64 million). LeBillionaire’s signature will now make him the highest-earning player in NBA history with US$532 million (AU$767 million) in career guaranteed money, surpassing that of Kevin Durant. 

While the Lakers are unable to trade LeBron James this season, going forward, James’ deal cannot contain a no-trade clause due to the fact we’re dealing with an extension rather than a new deal. However, with a starting salary of $46.7 million (AU$67 million) and a 15% trade kicker, the Lakers are incredibly unlikely to trade him. LeBron James will probably be wearing the purple and gold for as long as he chooses. 

While two seasons is the maximum contract extension for a 38-year-old player due to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, this extension does fit within a convenient timeline for both LeBron James and the Lakers. The updated deal will now line up James’ free agency with star Anthony Davis, as well as the first year of draft eligibility for his eldest son whom he reportedly wants to play alongside.

You can expect the Los Angeles Lakers to look considerably different at the end of 2024.

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