LeBron James' $85 million deal fuels stunning theory about son

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·Sports Editor
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LeBron James, pictured here with son Bronny in 2018.
LeBron James with son Bronny in 2018. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Fans are convinced that LeBron James is set to play alongside son Bronny in 2023 after signing a two-year, $85 million extension with the Lakers.

James’ agency, Klutch Sports, confirmed the deal on Wednesday during the first week of training camp for the NBA champions.

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The Lakers are still finalising their new contract with Anthony Davis, who is also represented by Klutch CEO Rich Paul.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that James’ extension is a two-year, $85 million deal through the 2022-23 season.

The four-time NBA champion is getting the maximum deal to extend his tenure in Los Angeles, where he moved two seasons ago after his second stint with his hometown Cavaliers.

Coincidentally (or not according to some fans), James will be off contract when his son graduates high school and is potentially eligible to play in the NBA.

In 2018, James said on an “Uninterrupted” feature that playing with or against Bronny, who is currently a sophomore at Sierra Canyon School in California, would be the “greatest achievement” of his life.

“You want to ask me what is the greatest achievement of my life? If I’m on the same court as my son in the NBA,” he said.

“That would be number one in my lifetime as an NBA player.

“I’ve thought about it because my son is about to be 14, and he might be able to get in there a little earlier.”

Rule prevents father-son team-up in 2023

James will turn 39 during the 2023-24 season, the year after his Lakers extension runs out, but there’s a decent chance that he’ll be more than good enough to keep playing in the NBA. (He is LeBron, after all.)

But one thing would need to happen to make the father-son team-up a reality in 2023: Bronny would need to enter the draft in 2023, and currently he’s not allowed to do that.

The famous/infamous one-and-done rule prevents Bronny from entering the draft right after he finishes high school.

Prospects need to turn 19 in the year of the draft and be one year removed from graduating high school in order to be eligible.

LeBron James, pictured here in action for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals.
LeBron James in action for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Bronny would need to spend a year in college and then declare for the draft, or be offered a G League professional path select contract, which would allow him to spend a year training professionally before entering the draft.

If that rule remains in place, James would have to play another year before realising his dream of playing with or against Bronny, staying in the NBA through his age 40 season.

There has been some movement toward ending that rule in recent years, but talks between the NBA and NBPA on that issue have reportedly stalled.

The discussion might not restart until the current collective bargaining agreement runs out in 2024.

Rule change or not, we do know one thing: If LeBron wants to play in the NBA at the same time as Bronny, he’ll find a way to make it happen.

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with Associated Press and Yahoo US

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