James, Lakers Have ‘Productive’ Talks What’s Next For LeBron’s Extension?
Everybody knows what the Lakers want, which is LeBron’s signature on a 2-year $97 million contract extension with a player option on the second year but the big question is what does LeBron James want from the Lakers?
So what would constitute ‘productive’ discussions when LeBron James and his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports met with the Lakers’ head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka yesterday about LeBron James’ contract extension? While LeBron’s eligible to sign an extension today, what’s more important is that James and the Lakers can now legally discus specific parameters Klutch Sports wants as conditions for LeBron James signing the 2-year extension.
Whether LeBron signs the extension now or waits until before training camp in October doesn’t matter at this point. All that matters is the Lakers know exactly what they need to accomplish to get LeBron James to sign extension. ‘Productive’ extension discussions could be as general as Klutch telling the Lakers that they need to trade both first round draft picks or as specific as Rich Paul saying the Lakers need to trade for Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris.
Pelinka surely walked James and Paul through the Lakers’ Big Board of possible Russell Westbrook trades both to show them their overall game plan but also to get feedback as to what LeBron and Rich were thinking. LeBron’s always been consulted when the Lakers made major moves so formally presenting their grand plans to LeBron and integrating his feedback would have been the logical path for ‘productive’ discussions.
Right now, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are in compete lock step that trading for Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris or Seth Curry is the team’s Plan A. If successful, there’s no question James would sign the extension. Plan B right now is the Lakers trading Russell Westbrook for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. If Lakers strike out on Kyrie, I think James understands how both Turner and Hield could make James’ and Davis’ jobs easier.
The key to the Lakers presentation is trading Russell Westbrook. Chances are the Lakers have one or two Westbrook trades that represent their back ups if they cannot complete either the Irving or Turner and Hield trades. Fortunately for the Lakers, they’re confident the worst outcome if they miss out on their first two options would be having to trade Westbrook for their third or fourth options. There is no option where Westbrook comes back.
What the Lakers will make clear in the days to come is that they will do what they need to rebuild their roster championship caliber to better complement LeBron and AD and convince LeBron to sign the extension.
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