LeBron James, Lakers discussed being more competitive

·2 min read

Last week, as LeBron James became eligible under NBA rules to sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, the two sides began talks to get one done.

According to at least one report, such talks were “productive.” But it looks like James didn’t just talk dollars and cents with Lakers management.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the two sides also discussed making the Lakers a more competitive team than they were this past season.

Via Yahoo Sports:

“James and his agent Rich Paul — CEO of Klutch Sports — met with Pelinka and head coach Darvin Ham last week. The 37-year-old is approaching his 20th season in the league. He is due for a two-year, $97.1 million extension.

“And while contract dialogue was broached, the majority of the hour-long meeting was about expressing concerns, and hearing out strategies and opinions to assure there wouldn’t be a repeat of last season’s epic failure, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

“James, sources said, drilled home the importance of consistent competitiveness and cohesion, noting that last season’s team didn’t give themselves a chance on many nights. The focus for the future Hall of Famer is competing every night in order to give themselves a chance to compete for a championship.”

LeBron year 20: How far will Lakers go in 2023 playoffs? - Powered By PickUp

Los Angeles was expected by many to compete for the NBA championship after trading for Russell Westbrook last summer. Instead, it failed to reach the play-in tournament.

Its current roster should be able to return to the playoffs this coming season if healthy. But simply reaching the postseason and making some noise there won’t be enough for a franchise that has won 17 world titles, or a player like James who owns four Larry O’Brien trophies.

Some have wondered if James will use the Lakers’ contract offer as leverage to pressure them into doing more to improve the roster. But many believe he will ultimately agree to a new deal to remain with the Purple and Gold.


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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire