LeBron James’ adjusted contract could help Los Angeles Lakers to pursue these two free agents

Los Angeles Lakers
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Previous reports suggested LeBron James would be willing to take a somewhat significant pay cut to help the Los Angeles Lakers secure one or some of their top free agency targets. Then, after several players signed elsewhere, reports surfaced of James signing a two-year, full-max extension with the Lakers.

Now we’ve learned that the Lakers and James agreed to adjust the contract, where he will sign a two-year, $101 million contract instead of the previously reported $104 million. It’s not a large difference for LeBron, but it could make a big impact on the Lakers’ free agency plans.

According to The Athletic’s NBA insiders Jovan Buha and Shams Charania, the Lakers may now focus their efforts on trying to sign scorers Gary Trent Jr. and/or Spencer Dinwiddie. But the Lakers still have more work to do when it comes to clearing more cap space.

“Gary Trent Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie are two names to watch for if the Lakers clear enough space to use their taxpayer midlevel exception, according to league sources.”

Buha and Charania on Lakers’ free agency targets

One way the Lakers could open more cap space is by finding a taker for D’Angelo Russell, who recently opted into his $18.6 million player option for the 2024-25 season. As is, the Lakers have 15 players on their roster, so no matter what, if they wish to add another, they’d have to cut or trade someone from the team.

Trent is an intriguing option. The 25-year-old once looked like he was on a path to becoming a star, especially after averaging 18.7 PPG with Toronto in 2022.

Still, with a career scoring average of 13.7 PPG, Trent can put up points quickly. He’s also known for being effective at interrupting passing lanes, where he averages 1.2 SPG in his career. If the Lakers could emerge with Trent for a reasonable rate, he may be one of the more impactful additions to JJ Redick’s roster this season.

Related: Insider says NBA teams aren’t interested in pursuing Trae Young trade

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