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NBA Insider Marc Stein Believes LeBron James Won’t Sign An Extension If The Lakers Fail To Land Kyrie Irving

NBA Insider Marc Stein Believes LeBron James Won’t Sign An Extension If The Lakers Fail To Land Kyrie Irving

LeBron James' time with the Los Angeles Lakers has been full of ups and downs. If we look at the big picture, he did fulfill the promise of winning an NBA Championship with the Lakers. But apart from that season, the LeBron-led Lakers have missed playoffs two times and were eliminated once in the opening round.

If the Lakers do not have a productive 2022-23 NBA season, fans will start labeling James' time with the Purple and Gold as a failure. To make sure that doesn't happen, James and the Lakers are working hard to create a roster that can win an NBA Championship.

They have already added decent role players after learning from their mistake of adding nothing but veteran players as the supporting cast. But due to the fact that the Western Conference is still very competitive and home to the 2022 NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers still don't look like a match for some of the other teams.

They could be in that conversation if they succeed in trading for Kyrie Irving. Additionally, getting Irving will also solve their issue of dumping Russell Westbrook's humongous contract. But what if the Lakers fail in doing so? Well, as per NBA insider Marc Stein, it could have a devastating impact on the team.

Via Marcstein.substack:

You can safely presume that Westbrook is aware of James’ stance. He surely knows, no matter what Ham says, that the other two starry prongs in last season’s ill-fated Big Three — James and Anthony Davis — are eager for a trade to materialize that essentially swaps Westbrook for Irving, even though both campaigned for the Lakers to acquire Westbrook from Washington last summer despite Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s advanced talks with Sacramento on a deal headlined by perimeter shooting specialist Buddy Hield.

“This is more reminder than reporting: LeBron becomes eligible for a two-year contract extension in the $100 million range on Aug. 4. That’s less than a month away and those talks could (stress: could) be influenced by the state of the Lakers’ roster (or inject the Irving pursuit with some fresh urgency).”

Failing to get Irving is one thing, but losing LeBron James can mean a lot of trouble for the Lakers. They have invested a lot to create a team tailored to James' needs. But you can totally blame LeBron too. 

He did his very best in the 2021-22 NBA season and had a tremendous season. Despite his best efforts, the rest of the team simply failed to live up to expectations, and as a result, the franchise missed the playoffs.