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NBA Insider Thinks If LeBron James Signs A Max Extension This Summer, Lakers Will Be Stuck And Not Have Enough Salary To Sign Players Next Season

LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to their roster construction. They are either stuck with the team they currently have with Russell Westbrook as their point guard, or they can move Westbrook with their remaining first-round picks to add either depth to the roster in Myles Turner and Buddy Hield or get a star in Kyrie Irving. 

The Lakers will have to do something as they need to prove to LeBron James that he should sign another extension with them to stay with the team beyond the 2022-23 season. He can sign a contract extension from now until the next offseason, with many waiting to see what his decision may be, even though reports suggest LeBron is leaning towards re-signing.

NBA insider Tim Bontemps has suggested that LeBron wait till next summer to sign his contract and give the Lakers a discount, similar to what James Harden did with Philadelphia to help the team sign PJ Tucker and Danuel House.  

"If you look at the situation the Lakers are in, we have already talked about the nausea of how they don't have enough salary cap space to fill out their roster around Anthony Davis. The one way they can do that is for LeBron James to wait until next summer and, like James Harden this summer with Philly, take a little less money and fill in around him and Anthony Davis next summer. If he signs a max extension this summer, the Lakers are stuck in the exact same situation they are now and are going to be stuck going forward because they have no other contracts to trade. They have no other way to get players on their roster. 

LeBron is a billionaire, so the dollar value on his contract may not be the biggest motivator for him anymore. The question is whether he trusts the Lakers to make the right roster moves even if he gives them a discount on a future extension.

Anyway, the 76ers are in trouble with the league for circumvention of the salary cap with what Harden did, so the Lakers have to be careful. If they can keep LeBron, they should do everything in their power to ensure that. If LeBron understands the value of improving the team over his own bottom line, he will probably give the Lakers some sort of a discount on his extension.