LeBron James inks deal to remain with Lakers, team up with Bronny

In the least shocking free-agent decision this summer – considering the Los Angeles Lakers drafted his son, Bronny – LeBron James reached a two-year, $104 million contract agreement to remain with the Lakers, a person familiar with the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the deal is official.

The deal includes a player option on the second season and a no-trade clause.

James, who made All-NBA for the 20th time in 2023-24, returns for his 22nd season after averaging 25.7 points, 8.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds and shooting 54% from the field and 41% on 3-pointers last season. He will turn 40 on Dec. 30.

On June 27, the Lakers selected his oldest son, Bronny, with the No. 55 pick in the NBA draft, making LeBron and Bronny the first father-son pair to play in the NBA at the same time.

James had options this season offseason. He could have exercised the player option on the second and final season ($51.4 million in 2024-25) of the two-year, $99 million contract he signed a year ago. That would’ve made him extension eligible Aug. 18, and could’ve signed a two-year extension with the Lakers, giving him the equivalent of a three-year, $164 million deal. That option was the most lucrative financially, however, James could not include a no-trade clause in an extension.

By opting out of his contract, becoming a free agent and re-signing with the Lakers, James has a no-trade clause which will reduce chatter of the Lakers sending him to another team.

James is willing to tinker with dollar amount on his contract if it allows to the Lakers to make improvements to the roster and give them a better chance to compete for a top spot in the Western Conference.

He could’ve signed with another team, but that was always an unlikely option even before the Lakers drafted Bronny. At All-Star Weekend in February when asked by USA TODAY about his future, he said, ‘l am a Laker, and I am happy and been very happy being a Laker the last six years, and hopefully it stays that way.

‘But I don’t have the answer to how long it is or which uniform I’ll be in. Hopefully it is with the Lakers. It’s a great organization and so many greats. But we’ll see. I don’t know how it’s going to end (his NBA playing career), but it’s coming. It’s coming, for sure.’

The Lakers were 47-35 last season, but lost in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs to the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers fired coach Darvin Ham and replaced him with JJ Redick, a first-time coach who left ESPN/ABC for the high-profile job.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY