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LeBron James agrees to two-year Lakers extension

By AFP - Aug 18,2022 - Last updated at Aug 18,2022

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers passes the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Orlando, Florida, on August 5 (AFP photo by Joe Murphy)

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James has agreed to terms on a two-year NBA contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers worth $97.1 million, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

The deal, according to ESPN and The Athletic, includes a player option for the 2024-25 season, in which James could see his 17-year-old son Bronny become an NBA rookie.

The contract could be worth $111 million to the superstar forward if the NBA salary cap makes a major jump for the 2023-24 campaign.

Terms would give James a career guaranteed total earnings number of $532 million, edging the four-time NBA champion and four-time NBA Most Valuable Player ahead of Kevin Durant for the record guaranteed career earnings total.

James, 37, has said he wants to play through the 2024-25 season for the chance to play alongside his eldest son, a top high school prospect in Los Angeles.

James, who would have been entering the final season of his Lakers’ contract in October, will now be able to negotiate a new deal or become a free agent in two seasons, the same options available to star teammate Anthony Davis.

The Lakers won their most recent NBA title in 2020 but missed the playoffs last season, going 33-49, and James was limited to 56 games by injuries although he averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists a game.

 

Warriors face Laker in NBA openers

 

Defending champion Golden State will host the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston will entertain Philadelphia when the 2022-23 NBA season opens on October 18 in a league schedule announced Wednesday.

Each team will play 82 regular-season games through April 9 with a play-in tournament ahead of the April 15 start of the play-offs and the NBA Finals commencing on June 1.

The schedule sees the resumption of international regular-season contests with the Miami Heat playing the San Antonio Spurs on December 17 in Mexico City and the Chicago Bulls meeting the Detroit Pistons in Paris on January 19.

There will be five games played on Christmas Day for the 15th consecutive year, tipping off with Philadelphia at New York and followed by the Lakers at Dallas, Milwaukee at Boston and Memphis making a December 25 debut at Golden State before the holiday slate concludes with Phoenix at Denver.

In a move to encourage fans to vote, no NBA games will be played on US Election Day, November 8, while all 30 teams will play on November 7 as well as April 9 to end the campaign.

On opening night, the 76ers will visit the reigning Eastern Conference champions before the NBA champion Warriors receive their championship rings before hosting superstar LeBron James and the Lakers.

On October 19, New York will visit Memphis and Dallas go to Phoenix in a rematch of a Western Conference semifinal series from last season.

The next night, Milwaukee travel to Philadelphia while the Los Angeles rivals the Lakers and Clippers meet.

October 21 will feature Boston at Miami and Denver at Golden State.

There will be two rematches of last season’s NBA Finals when the Warriors play host to Boston on December 10 and visit the Celtics on January 19.

The week of January 23 will be NBA Rivals Week, a series of games featuring various league rivalries.

A trio of January 28 contests include the Lakers at Boston, New York at Brooklyn and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic leading Denver against Philadelphia and MVP runner-up and 2021-22 scoring leader Joel Embiid.

The estimated average miles travelled for NBA clubs in the 2022-23 regular season has been reduced to close to 66,000 kilometres per team, a record low in the era with 30 teams and 82 games each.

It’s a cut of over 3,000 kilometres per team from last season’s all-time low of 69,000 kilometres travelled per club.

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