Los Angeles Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka wants to see LeBron James remain with the team and retire with the franchise.
Pelinka and James have already started negotiating a two-year contract extension, worth $97.1M, which the four-time NBA champion could sign in the form of an 1+1 deal with a player option next summer.
“Pelinka made his feelings clear that he wants James to retire as a Laker and promised to provide him with every resource possible to compete for a championship each year he’s with the organization, sources said,” Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports writes.
Yahoo Sources: Inside LeBron James' meeting with Lakers front office: Darvin Ham's offensive plan, Rob Pelinka's roster patience. https://t.co/1LMPYeTVoZ
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 10, 2022
At the moment, though, LeBron James doesn’t seem concerned about his new deal. Instead, he wants to see the Lakers create a competitive team and return to the NBA playoffs after a disappointing 2021/22 campaign.
The team wants to trade Russell Westbrook and land another superstar, like Kyrie Irving. At the moment, though, it is more likely the former NBA MVP will start the season as part of the squad.
If that happens, NBA insiders and league executives view the 17-time NBA champion as a bottom-tier playoff team rather than a title contender.