Source–LeBron James to decide on exit, eyes new deal with Lakers


LeBron James intends to opt out of the final year of his $51.4 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for next season and seek a new deal with the team, a source familiar with his plans told ESPN.

James, 39, has until 5 p.m. Saturday to tell the Lakers his official decision.

Sources told ESPN that the Lakers are committed to keeping James with the franchise and are interested in offering the four-time MVP the maximum three-year, $162 million contract he is eligible for.

L.A. selected James’ eldest son, Bronny James, 55th overall in the second round of the NBA draft on Thursday.

James averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds in 71 games last season — the most he played in six seasons with the franchise. He shot 54% from the field and a career-best 41% from 3, leading to him being named to the All-NBA Third Team and becoming the first player in league history to surpass 40,000 points.

Lakers star Anthony Davis, who played five of those six seasons with James in Los Angeles, said he intentionally did not pressure James about his decision this offseason. The two will also pair up at the Paris Olympics this summer.

“I’m just respecting his space,” Davis told ESPN this week. “I know we’re going to be together all summer long and I know if he decides to do something — whether it’s stay with the Lakers, move on or step out and resign or step out and pursue another path, I know he’ll let me know before he makes any decisions. [official] Just because we have such a relationship, I can't judge. So I'm pretty sure I'll know before anyone else besides her family and Rich [Paul],


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