NBA analyst thinks LeBron James will leverage Lakers just by playing the waiting game

LeBron James has never been shy about using agency as a tool, and is doing it again with the LA Lakers. Currently entering the final year of his contract, the future Hall of Famer is in no rush to sign an extension with the team.

Playing on a one-year contract has never been a problem for James. He regularly signed short-term deals before coming to Los Angeles in an effort to incentivize his front office to build a team that could fight. A similar situation could be happening right now with the Lakers.

Since winning the NBA title in 2020, LA has continued to move in the wrong direction. After failing to qualify for the playoffs last season, James is smart enough not to be in a rush to sign a new contract. At this point in his career, wrestling remains one of his top priorities.

During a recent episode of First Things First, FS1’s Chris Broussard defended James for choosing not to immediately sign an extension with the Lakers. He thinks it’s fair for players to have leverage in certain circumstances.

“LeBron wants to be a Laker. He wants to stay with the Lakers for the foreseeable future. So I know he’s not trying to move on, at least not anytime soon.”

“He can maintain the leverage you’re talking about by just waiting. See how this season goes, see how AD plays and how the team comes together, what possible moves could be there. There’s nothing hard to get leverage.”

“I know LeBron wants to be a Laker and he wants to stay with the Lakers for the foreseeable future. He can maintain leverage by just waiting. There’s nothing wrong with being leveraged, especially when you can sign this agreement at any time.” — @Chris_Broussard

Is LeBron James making the right choice while waiting to sign a new contract with the Lakers?

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Given the franchise’s current outlook, LeBron James is certainly making the right call by not rushing into a new deal. There are multiple unknowns regarding the Lakers’ future, and he shouldn’t risk going into long-term lock-in sooner than necessary.

“I am told that nothing is imminent [in regards to a LeBron James extension with the Lakers.]… You can see LeBron’s camp waiting to see how things go with the Los Angeles Lakers roster leading into training camp. – Dave McMenamin

The two big things to watch out for involve the other stars on the team. As of now, it looks like Russell Westbrook is going to start the year in Los Angeles. On top of that, it’s unclear how Anthony Davis could physically resist. If these two continue to create problems, LeBron has little chance of competing for a title with the Lakers.

Right now, LeBron could see this season as one last chance for the Lakers to turn things around. He’ll finish the season with Russ and AD and see if the organization can turn things around enough that he wants to commit to moving forward.

Edited by Kevin McCormick

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