ESPN insider Dave McMenamin explains why Lakers superstar LeBron James not signing his contract extension will cause a The Lakers were a franchise lost in space before LeBron James signed with the organization in the summer of 2018. In the five years prior to LeBron’s arrival, the Lakers compiled a putrid 126-284 record, missing the playoffs (by a lot) in each of those five campaigns. After the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis in the summer of 2019, LeBron and AD delivered LA a championship in the Orlando playoff bubble. The last two seasons with LeBron have been far from a storybook, but the Lakers likely remember what life was like before James came to town.
The Lakers are no strangers to soap operas, but any distraction, on top of the Russell Westbrook distraction, is a bad distraction. Which is why ESPN’s Dave McMenamin warns that life for the Lakers will get awfully complicated if LeBron doesn’t sign the extension he’s eligible for next week. “The other concern here is, we’re in the middle of July having this conversation. What happens when we get to August 4th, they still haven’t figured things out [with Westbrook], LeBron’s eligible for an extension and he’s not signing it? Let’s say he goes into the year that way, you’ve just added a circus to your plate for the entirety of the 2022-203 season.”
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has publicly stated that the team will not explore trading LeBron if he doesn’t sign the extension and that the organization is willing to work with James to ensure that he’s satisfied with the overall direction of the purple and gold. However, the gravity of an icon like LeBron cannot be underestimated. The Westbrook trade chatter has already added some summer chaos for the Lakers, but James not inking an extension prior to the start of the regular season, will add a fresh batch of drama to LA LA Land.