LeBron James is eligible to sign a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, and the expectation is he will sign a new deal "in some form," per Kurt Helin of NBC Sports.
"LeBron does not give off the vibe of a guy looking to bolt Los Angeles," Helin noted.
Helin reported those around the league expect James to sign a "1+1 deal," which locks him in through the 2023-24 season while adding a player option for 2024-25. Without a new contract, the superstar would become a free agent in 2023.
Flexibility could be important for James, especially after the Lakers' struggles over the past year. The squad finished 33-49 and fell short of the play-in tournament.
While the team is hoping a healthy LeBron and Anthony Davis are enough to get back into title contention, the Lakers have otherwise made few impact moves this offseason.
The 37-year-old could also want to keep his options open in 2024 when his son, Bronny James, is eligible for the NBA draft.
"My last year will be played with my son," James told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic in February. "Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point."
James later confirmed the plan in May on Twitter.
If he is a free agent that offseason, the 18-time All-Star could just wait to see where Bronny lands and sign there. Considering the Lakers don't have a first-round draft pick that year, it might be difficult to pull off the package deal.
James is still seemingly content to stay with the Lakers, at least for another two seasons. Helin reported "his family is comfortable in Los Angeles," while Joe Vardon of The Athletic previously reported "the people closest to him said he was happy in Los Angeles."
It adds up to a likely extension this summer.