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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is working through an extension with the Lakers on his own time — and so far, it’s reportedly going well.  

LeBron James is halfway through a two-year, $85 million contract with the Lakers, yet James and his camp have their eyes set on the future.

Even though James is signed on for the 2022-23 season at $44.

5 million, that hasn’t stopped King James for seeking a king’s ransom for another year or two in Los Angeles.

As of Aug. 4, James is now eligible to sign a contract extension with the Lakers. While ESPN’s Dave McMenamin indicated that there is nothing “imminent”, he also reported that contract talks have begun between James and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.

LeBron James and his representative Rich Paul of Klutch Sports met with Lakers VP of basketball ops and GM Rob Pelinka on Thursday regarding James’ eligible contract extension. Paul told ESPN the discussion was “productive” and both sides will continue a dialogue.

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) August 4, 2022

Although there’s little to go on at this point, LeBron fans can rest assured that the contract talks were “productive” as the two sides seek to get a deal done.

LeBron James kicks off “productive” contract extension talks with Lakers

McMenamin stated that James could be after a two-year, $97 million extension or a one-year, $47 million extension. The Lakers already wield two of the NBA’s highest-paid players, meaning that another massive contract for James could have debilitating consequences for the rest of the roster.

James is already the NBA’s third highest-paid player for the upcoming season, coming in behind Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and fellow Lakers teammate Russell Westbrook.

In the upcoming season, Westbrook will be taking up 25 percent of the team’s cap space, James will take up 24 percent, and Anthony Davis will take up 20.7 percent at $37.9 million, per Spotrac.

That leaves about 30 percent for everyone else.

Talen Horton-Tucker is the fourth highest-paid player on the Lakers roster at $10.2 million for the 2022-23 season, and he’s only taking up 5.6 percent of the current cap percentage. Horton-Tucker has been shipped around as a possible trade chip all year, even though his contract equals peanuts compared to the monumental deal’s of the team’s biggest three stars.

All that being said, the Lakers are unlikely to force James to take a significant pay cut, and the team has already carved out enormous space to host James, Davis and Westbrook for the upcoming year. James is unlikely to offer the team much flexibility with his contract, otherwise, he could take his talents elsewhere.

Of course, there is good reason why James, Davis and Westbrook inked the deals that they did, as NBA teams are tasked with filling roster holes with rookies and young, underrated — or underpaid — talent. Taking a team-friendly deal isn’t something that league superstars need to do — someone is going to pay a premium for LeBron James.

McMenamin mentioned that there are two key factors involved in where LeBron will end his illustrious career: whether or not a team can get him another ring, and whether or not he can play with his son, Bronny James.

Although James’ extension talks are just beginning, his massive decision will impact not only the Lakers, but the future of the league as it decides where LeBron and Bronny will end up.

Must Read NBA rumors: This 3-team Donovan Mitchell trade would break the Association

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Lakers Talk New Blockbuster 3-Team Trade to Land Ex-Rival Shooter: Report

Getty Lakers exec Rob Pelinka

A new potential blockbuster trade has emerged for the Los Angeles Lakers to consider as a way to move Russell Westbrook. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported that the Lakers have discussed a three-team trade with the Knicks and Jazz as part of a deal that would send Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks.

Los Angeles would land a package of solid role players including former Clippers nemesis Patrick Beverley, sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic (or Malik Beasley) and ex-Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson. To make the salaries work, Westbrook would likely go to the Jazz in this trade scenario.

“The Lakers had conversations about joining the Jazz and Knicks a few weeks ago in a potential three-team trade, league sources told HoopsHype,” Scotto detailed on August 5, 2022. “The proposed three-team trade scenario included Westbrook going to Utah and getting bought out. Utah would send Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks, a combination of two players, including Patrick Beverley and Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic or Malik Beasley to the Lakers, and the Jazz would receive significant draft pick compensation from the Knicks and Lakers. The Knicks also would’ve had to part with veteran salary filler(s), such as Derrick Rose to help make the salaries work.”

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Bogdanovic Helps Fill the Shooting Void on the Lakers

Bogdanovic would be a significant addition for the Lakers and the career 39.2% three-point shooter fills an immediate void on the roster. The Jazz forward averaged 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 38.7% from long range during the 2021-22 season. After years of attempting to get under LeBron James’ skin as an opponent, Beverley has made no secret about his desire to play with King James.

Clarkson would be a familiar face for Lakers fans after playing his first four seasons in Los Angeles. The guard posted 16 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 31.8% from behind the arc last season.

Are the Lakers Willing to Lose a Chance to Land Kyrie?

The biggest question surrounding this deal, talks with the Pacers and other trade discussions the Lakers have been linked to is how it potentially impacts the team’s chances to land Kyrie Irving. This three-way trade would all but assuredly take the Lakers out of the Irving sweepstakes, which still appears to be the team’s first choice of potential deals.

The Lakers have been reluctant to attach multiple future first-round draft picks to find a team to take on Westbrook’s $47 millions salary. According to Scotto, the general consensus is that the Lakers will be unable to move Westbrook without including their 2027 and 2029 first-round selections.

“As noted on the latest HoopsHype podcast, the prevailing thought around the league is any three-team trade involving Russell Westbrook would need to include the 2027 and 2029 first-round picks from the Lakers with as few protections as possible,” Scotto explained.

As the season nears, time will tell if the Lakers will become more aggressive in their pursuit of Irving. The unfortunate realty is the proposed three-team deal essentially is just the Lakers undoing their previous Westbrook trade by acquiring a package of role players similar to what the team gave up for the star guard on the night of the 2021 NBA draft. As for Irving, the point guard is now in a “good place” with the Nets, per SNY.TV’s Ian Begley.

“A source close to Irving said this week that the seven-time All-Star is in a good place with the Nets and comfortable entering the 2022-23 season,” Begley wrote on August 4.

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