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LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers agree to 2-year, $97.1 million extension

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that includes a player option for the 2024-25 season, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul told ESPN on Wednesday.

The extension, which includes a 15% trade kicker, makes James the highest-earning player in NBA history with $532 million in career guaranteed money, surpassing Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.

James is ineligible for a no-trade clause because he agreed on an extension — not a new deal. But the new contract’s starting salary of $46.7 million, the 15% trade kicker and James’ stature as one of history’s great players likely make him a Laker for as long as he chooses.

James had been entering the final season of his contract (worth $44.5 million) and now joins All-Star Anthony Davis with the ability to negotiate new deals with the Lakers or become free agents in two seasons.

With the deal, the four-time NBA champion and MVP and 18-time All-Star eliminates concern that he could enter free agency next summer. Despite approaching 38 years old, James remains an All-NBA-level player and the centerpiece of the Lakers’ contention hopes.

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