LeBron James ‘prepared to take a $20 million pay cut’ in new contract to stay with LA Lakers and play with son Bronny

LeBron’s potential pay cut means the Lakers could offer contracts to two of the NBA’s top free agents

LEBRON James is willing to take less money to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers – and for key reasons.

The NBA icon, 39, has the chance to play alongside his 19-year-old son Bronny James, who was selected by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2024 NBA Draft last week.

LeBron James is reportedly on board with taking less money to sign an extension with the Los Angeles LakersCredit: Getty

The 39-year-old James will get to play with his son, Bronny, if he remains with Los AngelesCredit: Getty

Shortly after his son’s selection, LeBron James opted out of his $51.4 million player option.

On Sunday, it was reported by ESPN that the 39-year-old is prepared to take a discount with the Los Angeles Lakers for the team to acquire talent in free agency – which unofficially opened on the same day as the report.

An NBA insider explained what James’ decision to opt out meant in the grand scheme of things.

“It means, No. 1, that LeBron James plans to return to the Lakers, but the question is: What kind of contract does he do moving forward?” ESPN reported.

“What LeBron James has told the Lakers, is essentially: If the Lakers have the chance to get at a couple of the impact players that are available in free agency, with their mid-level exception, that LeBron James is willing to take less money on this deal.”

ESPN then said that the 20-time NBA All-Star is willing to take “maybe upwards of $20M so the Lakers can have their full mid-level exception.”

A reporter at ESPN revealed that LeBron’s decision has led Los Angeles to pursue free agent star Klay Thompson and center Jonas Valanciunas.

He then shared that the Lakers have limited options to choose from in free agency so they will be expected to make decisions quickly and possibly as soon as Monday night.

ESPN also added, “If the Lakers can’t land one of those players using that $13 million mid-level exception, then ultimately LeBron James takes his full max, which on a three-year deal is $160 million plus.”

James has been a Laker since 2018 and has won one championship with the team.

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Bronny’s arrival, and possibly bringing in free-agent talent, will likely give the NBA all-time leader in points plenty of motivation next season.

James is currently the oldest active player in the league and has hinted at retirement in the past.

Bronny will be a Laker after playing one season with the USC Trojans.

During that campaign, he suffered a cardiac arrest while practicing with the squad.

The four-time NBA champion James and Bronny can be the first father-son duo in NBA historyCredit: Getty

The guard Bronny rehabbed and returned to play for the Trojans, averaging just 4.8 points per game in 25 appearances.

LeBron and Bronny are set to become the first father-son duo in NBA history.

The latter will play with No. 9 and “James Jr.” on the back.

Bronny will have the opportunity to suit up for his new team for the first time this week.

On July 6, Los Angeles will play the Sacramento Kings in the 2024 California Classic Summer League.

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