NBA Rumors: LeBron James willing to take pay cut for 3 Lakers' free agency targets

LeBron James may finally be willing to take a pay cut for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: LeBron James is reportedly willing to take a pay cut for three potential free-agent targets for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Officially, LeBron James is a free agent. He'll be eligible to negotiate with any team in the NBA once free agency begins. However, the overwhelming belief is that he's going to sign a contract extension or re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. At this point, it would be a huge surprise if that didn't ultimately happen for LeBron. It's a near-lock that LeBron is going to re-sign with the Lakers, so much so that there is talk about him potentially taking a significant pay cut in his new contract with the team.

With the intent of improving the roster around him, it appears LeBron isn't entirely shut off by the idea of taking less money if it equates to the Lakers drastically improving the roster either via trade or free agency.

According to a recent report, LeBron is willing - or at least open to the idea - to take a pay cut for three free agents. Those players are Klay Thompson, James Harden, and Jonas Valanciunas. If LeBron would take a pay cut, it would give the Lakers the opportuinty to use their full mid-level exception.

Can the Los Angeles Lakers afford any of the veteran free agents?

Would Klay, Harden, or Valanciunas play for the mid-level exception? That remains to be seen and depends on how the market develops for those players. But at least for now, it appears that LeBron seems willing to help the Lakers secure an upgrade to the roster via free agency. If it takes a bit of a pay cut for LeBron, he seems to be willing to play ball.

And at this point in his career, that sounds about right. LeBron is going to be 40 years old by the middle of the 2024-25 NBA season and if he's serious about putting himself in the best position to win another NBA Championship, you'd have to imagine that this could be his best path toward accomplishing that.

The Lakers could add another star talent via trade but with the star trade market quickly drying up, securing one of the veteran difference-makers via free agency could be the next best option for Los Angeles.

I'd have to imagine that the Lakers are still going to survey the trade market but if they could land Klay, Harden, or even Valanciunas via free agency, it would be a huge win for the team this summer.

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