LeBron James contract details: Lakers ink star to massive two-year extension

By | August 17, 2022

LeBron James has been the subject of trade rumors all offseason, especially as he entered the final year of his contract with the Lakers. At least for now, he’s putting those trade rumors to rest.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported James had signed an extension that will keep him in Los Angeles at least for the next three seasons.

James became eligible to sign an extension on Aug. 4, and took just under two weeks to complete a deal to remain a Laker.

Despite entering his age 38 campaign, James has shown no signs of slowing down when on the court. In 56 games in 2021-22, James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. However, he has exceeded 60 games in a season just once since he arrived in L.A., and has yet to play in more than 70 in a season.

Here’s a look at how much money James will make in his new deal.

LeBron James contract details

Wojnarowski reported James signed a $97.1 million deal over two years. The deal reportedly includes a 15 percent trade kicker, which means that if traded, the Lakers would pay him a bonus of 15 percent the remaining dollar amount on his contract. The deal also includes a player option for the 2024-25 season.

Because he signed an extension, he cannot have a no-trade clause in the deal, Wojnarowski reported, but the fresh contract means he cannot be traded in the 2022-23 season because the second year of the deal is more than a 5 percent raise.

Nate Duncan reported the timing of James’ extension ensures the Melo rule clears the trade deadline, which he estimates is Feb. 9.

Here’s how the remaining three years of his contract now look like:

Year Salary
2022-23 $44.5 million
2023-24* $46.7 million
2024-25* $50.4 million

*Years in extension

Highest-paid NBA players

With the new deal, James solidifies his place among the highest-paid players in the NBA.

During the first year of the extension, James will be the third-highest paid player in the league based on base salary, per Spotrac, trailing only Stephen Curry ($51.9 million) and Bradley Beal ($46.7 million). In the second year of the deal, James’ $50.4 million will trail only Curry’s $55.8 million salary.

Based on average annual value, James’ extension has the fourth-highest average annual in the league in 2023-24, the first year it takes effect.

Player Years Average annual value
Nikola Jokic 5 $53,998,000
Joel Embiid 4 $52,136,000
Jimmy Butler 3 $50,274,000
LeBron James 2 $48,566,687
Darius Garland 5 $38,570,000

Most career earnings in NBA history

James’ new deal also ensures he will surpass Nets forward Kevin Durant for the most career earnings in NBA contracts.

The contract will push James to $528.99 million made in his career, while Durant’s deal will end with him having earned $498.69 million in his career.

Here’s a look at the most career earnings through 2029, per Spotrac.

Player Earnings
LeBron James $528,992,480
Kevin Durant $498,688,653
Stephen Curry $470,090,010
Damian Lillard $449,910,157
Bradley Beal $428,874,362
Chris Paul $419,909,419
Nikola Jokic $419,369,513
Karl-Anthony Towns $406,491,513
Devin Booker $390,756,853
Joel Embiid $374,516,037