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LeBron James contract: Star signs two-year, $85 million extension with Lakers

LeBron James contract
Mar 1, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The world is almost literally King James’ oyster. Fresh off leading his team to the NBA title, the game’s best player is cashing in big time. LeBron James contract situation over the next couple years is now settled.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers have signed the four-time NBA champion to a two-year, $85 million max extension ahead of the start of the 2020-21 NBA season.

LeBron James contract: Star gets $85 million in extension with the Lakers

The report notes that LeBron James new contract will take him through the 2021-22 season. James current deal of $153.5 million over four years had an opt out following the 2020-21 campaign.

This is no small thing for the Lakers. If James had waited until following this season to opt out and re-sign with the team, he would have earned more than the $42.5 million annually.

This will give general manager Rob Pelinka more leeway when it comes to the salary cap moving forward. Given that the Lakers have huge plans in free agency next summer, that’s no small thing.

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LeBron James net worth and career earnings

LeBron James contract
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to this new LeBron James contract, the 16-time All-Star had earned an absolutely stunning $343.86 million throughout his 17-year NBA career. That’s just a crazy number right there.

As you already know, James is also a brand off the court. It’s one of the primary reasons he opted to sign with the Lakers ahead of the 2018-19 season, to build that brand in the nation’s second-largest media market. According to various reports, James is worth an estimated $480 million in cold hard cash.

LeBron James contract will likely pale in comparison to what he’s going to earn off the court as he reaches the twilight of his NBA career and focuses more on the business side of things. After all, he’s already a major business player off the court.

Related: LeBron James, Lakers primed for repeat

  • Back in 2015, James signed a lifetime deal with Nike that will ultimately pay him at least $1 billion.
  • James invested in a startup called Blaze Pizza back in 2012. He’s earned $35 million in an initial $1 million investment. Must be nice.
  • SpringHill Company, a movie production entity founded by LeBron and Maverick Carter, is also a big player in Hollywood. It’s set to help produce the “Space Jam” sequel and is involved in a remake of the 1990s cult hit “House Party.”

As you can see, LeBron James contract will have very little bearing on his net worth moving forward. However, that’s looking at this from a pure financial lens.

As for James’ NBA career, there’s now a good chance that he will call it quits as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. James turns 35 in December. He will be 37 once this contract expires.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Lakers, check out #TheLakeShow rumors, rankings, and news here

While the all-time great NBA player could very well star beyond this contract, there’s very little reason to believe James will ultimately change teams once it expires.

All of this comes less than three weeks before James and his Lakers look to repeat as champs, starting with a season-opening game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 22.

There’s a high degree of confidence that James and his Lakers will be able to repeat after he led the team to its first title in a decade last season. What the team has done thus far this offseason adds another layer to that. It’s the most talented squad in the NBA. It is the deepest squad in the Association. It is primed for complete domination.

It must be fun to be one LeBron James right now.