Bill Simmons Claims The Lakers Will Not Win A Title If LeBron James Takes $50 Million Contract - Sport News

Bill Simmons Claims The Lakers Will Not Win A Title If LeBron James Takes $50 Million Contract

The Los Angeles Lakers could be at a crossroads this summer as LeBron James could enter free agency after six years with the franchise. With James reportedly wanting a three-year, $160 million extension, Bill Simmons believes the Lakers will handicap their chances of winning with James on a max and Anthony Davis on a max, who signed last summer.

LeBron James 'won't stop' until Lakers are in championship contention -  Silver Screen and Roll

“If he wants to win another title, and he takes like $50 million a year when Davis is already making $50 million a year, it basically means they’re not going to win another title and he’s going to be stuck at four, that’s it.”

Simmons raises some valid points by bringing up LeBron’s win-loss record while active over the last two seasons and his relatively ineffective net rating. James is amidst a healthy season, averaging 25.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 8.0 assists this season. Even Anthony Davis has been healthy and more available than James, averaging 24.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks.

Davis has a three-year, $186 million extension kicking in at the end of the 2024-25 season.

Even with the performances of their two stars, the Lakers are stuck in the battle for the No. 6 seed, currently stuck at No. 9. This could be their third Play-In appearance with LeBron and AD, indicating that the team really isn’t built for sustainable success. If James re-signs on a max, the team is likely stuck with their current roster unless they make trades that sacrifice depth for star power.

Lakers Future Salary Looks Occupied
The Lakers managed to create free cap space this summer after trading Russell Westbrook away for expiring contracts like D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, and Malik Beasley. Russell and Hachimura have already been re-signed, while Austin Reaves also received a big-money extension. The three would combined for over $48.5 million next season, provided D’Lo accepts his $18 million player option. If he doesn’t, the Lakers likely will have to re-sign him as they don’t have the space to replace his outgoing salary.

Jarred Vanderbilt also secured an extension this season, earning $10.1 million next season. If LeBron theoretically accepted his $51.4 million player option along with AD making $43.3 million, the Lakers would be over the $141 million salary cap with just these six players.

Additional salaries like Gabe Vincent, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Max Christie, Taurean Prince, and more rotational players will likely take them close to being a second apron team, which restricts future draft picks, trades, and free agent acqusitions.

The Lakers could aggregate some of their mid-range rotational salaries for a third player and hope they can find value on the minimum market to bolster their rotation. Players like Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell have been linked, but they’ll be challenging deals for an asset-strapped Lakers to pull off.

If LeBron was to re-sign on a discount and take just $25 million or lesser, the team has a lot more room to navigate roster building with James slotting in as the third-highest paid player if another star is acquired. That’s more manageable and would be a fantastic value contract.

If LeBron was to take a discount to contend for another title. people would mock him. If he doesn’t, people will call him greedy. Even though his play would get any player a max contract in the NBA, James will be scrutinized for the decision given his age. If the Lakers don’t offer what he wants, they lose arguably the biggest commercial asset in the NBA right now. LeBron has the bargaining chip of wanting to play with his son as well, so the Lakers have a huge offseason ahead.

Related Posts

Former Heat No. 2 Pick Compares Celtics Jayson Tatum to LeBron James

It has not taken long for Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum to establish himself as one of the league’s best players. More than that, NBA alum Michael Beasley believes that Tatum…

‘He’s batman, I’m the robin!’ Luka Doncic gets honest about playing with Kyrie Irving in Dallas Mavericks

Kyrie Irving ‘s entry into the Dallas Mavericks has brought out some of the best basketball in Luka Doncic . The 25-year-old has been able to unlock a different level in his…

D’Angelo Russell Gets Real on Future With Lakers

D’Angelo Russell could enter free agency again in 2024 if he chooses to. The Los Angeles Lakers signed him to a two-year, $36 million contract with a player option for…

Kuminga ruled out for Warriors-Magic due to knee tendinitis

Jonathan Kuminga has been ruled out for the Warriors’ game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at Kia Center, coach Steve Kerr told reporters 90 minutes before tip-off….

Kristaps Porzingis sends strong but mixed message on Boston Celtics effort in unfathomable Hawks loss

Kristaps Porzingis was not a fan of the Boston Celtics’ complacency against the Atlanta Hawks in a 120-118 loss in which they held an 18-point halftime lead…

Giannis Antetokounmpo Calls Out Officiating After Horrible Loss to Lakers

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks wasn’t too happy after their loss against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 26. While the frustration is warranted after the…