LeBron James ‘isn’t going’ to leave Lakers for Mavs

NBA Analytics Network

Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James is “not going” to the Dallas Mavericks to play next NBA season with point guard Kyrie Irving and point forward Luka Doncic, according to Bill Rieter of CBS Sports.

Irving recruits James for the Mavericks, while LeBron wants to reunite with Uncle Drew for the Lakers.

“This is about leverage, or the misguided idea that one or both stars can catch it,” Rieter wrote. “And according to NBA sources familiar with the situation, about a related message from Irving to the Lakers: pay me if you want me, and don’t expect discounts.”

James signed a two-year extension with the Lakers last summer and Irving will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The new CBA resembles a hard shell, making it very challenging to have a maximum of three players on a roster.

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“LeBron is not going to Dallas,” a source told Rieter. “That doesn’t even make sense. This is about Kyrie (Lakers general manager) telling Rob (Pelinka) that he’s not taking a discount. And about LeBron trying to create leverage.”

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers are not interested in what the Mavericks can offer them for James. LeBron could ask for a buyout from Los Angeles and make a cheap deal with Dallas. However, Buha – who covers the Lakers – does not see that happening.

“The other way to get James to Dallas is through a buyout, but multiple hurdles make that unrealistic as well,” Buha wrote. “James agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million extension with the Lakers in 2022, which does not take effect until this summer. Any player who gets bought out can technically be picked up on waivers, but that team must be able to fit the player’s full salary (in this case James’ $46.9 million) on its cap sheet, not the amount to which he agrees. a surrender. James would also have to take a hefty discount — the Lakers would have little to no incentive to have dead money on their pet sheet — then sign in Dallas for much less than he would have made.

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“James has earned nearly $400 million in basketball salary during his NBA career. He has made hundreds of millions through endorsements, partnerships, his production company, and various business endeavors. But asking him to give up tens of millions of dollars still seems impractical.”

If James does not retire from the NBA this summer, he will likely return to the Lakers next season. His first son, Bronny, plays college basketball at USC and his wife and two other children enjoy living in Los Angeles.

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