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Los Angeles Lakers insider reveals if Lebron James could opt out, return on discount extension

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With Lebron James desperate to get one last championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, a team insider revealed if the NBA legend would be willing to take a new team-friendly contract to help the organization improve the roster for a serious title run.

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Entering the All-Star break, the Lakers reside in the ninth spot of the NBA standings in the West and have unfortunately hovered around that spot for much of the season. At this point, it is hard to expect this team to be a serious title contender in the spring. That is why there is already talk about who they could target to improve the roster in the summer.

Recent reports have linked LA to possible trades for Cavaliers superstar Donovan Mitchell as well as a pursuit of Hawks star Trae Young. However, before they pursue an impact player in the offseason they have to know if Lebron James will still be on the team.

The future Hall-of-Famer has a $51 million player option for next season. If the four-time NBA MVP really wanted to win another title, some wonder if he could follow in the footsteps of other league greats like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki by taking more team-friendly deals later in their careers.

Lakers insider claims Lebron James has likely always been underpaid due to the economic impact he has on cities

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Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, Lakers reporter Jovan Buha took to his YouTube channel and gave his thoughts about that possibility, and it seems very unlikely.

“If Lebron opts out and gets an extension I think maybe there’s a chance it’s slightly less if it’s like a three-year extension. Lebron has yet to take a significant pay cut and until he takes one I am going to be skeptical he’s going to take one. And that’s his prerogative. But he’s not done the Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, let me give the hometown discount so my team can sign better free agents [deal].”

From Buha’s perspective, he believes it’s understandable if James doesn’t take a pay cut because of the level he is still playing at and the economic impact he has on the cities he plays in. Along with the idea that maybe he has always been underpaid because of what he brings on and off the court.

So, for fans hoping James would adjust his pay to improve the roster in 2024-25, don’t get your hopes up.

Related: Los Angeles Lakers willing to explore adding Bronny James to keep LeBron James happy

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