Top NBA insider addresses possibility of LeBron James taking pay cut to return to Los Angeles Lakers and play with Bronny James

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has played 21 seasons in the NBA. He’s set to play his 22nd, where he’ll earn $51.4 million next season with the Los Angeles Lakers. But there’s a strong belief that James will opt out of his contract for next season and renegotiate. In fact, his agent, Rich Paul, has already said the NBA superstar’s intentions are to opt out.

This means James will be re-negotiating a new contract, and all signs point to the Los Angeles Lakers being the lone competitor to pursue the future Hall of Famer. But at what price?

ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst recently addressed that issue, where he suggested the possibility of James signing a team-friendly contract to help the Lakers emerge as a top contender.

“I wonder if LeBron James, for the first time in 15 years, is willing to take a pay cut. There’s reason why this would make some sort of sense. if D’Angelo Russell opts out of his contract, and LeBron was willing to come down, not an insignificant amount, about $10 or $12 million from the option he’s gonna waive, the Lakers could be a player in free agency, use their mid-level exception of about $12 million. It wouldn’t surprise me if LeBron waits a little bit to see what kind of contract might be able to help the Lakers.”

Brian Windhorst on possibility of LeBron James taking a pay cut with Los Angeles Lakers

James is already 39, yet he’s still playing at an All-Star level. But he knows his time is running out.

Yet, taking a pay cut could go a long way toward making one last push to pursue his fifth NBA Championship. Plus, now that the Lakers have committed to Bronny James too, maybe LeBron sees that as a bit of an offsetting move, making him even more willing to sacrifice some money to help the rest of his team reach their goals.

But make no mistake, James will likely still sign a massive contract; it just might not be as much as $50 million for one season. Yet if he can still ink a two-year, $85 million contract (or something similar), that still puts a lot more money in his pockets.

Related: NBA insider reveals Trae Young’s preferred trade landing spots

Mentioned in this article:

More About: