LeBron James opts out of his contract with eye on re-signing with Lakers

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LeBron James has opted out of his contract, paving the way for him to sign a new deal with the Lakers in free agency.

James, an unrestricted free agent, is able to a sign a three-year deal with the Lakers for approximately $162 million. He could elect to sign a shorter deal or even a less-expensive one.

James has long been expected to re-sign with the Lakers, which was only strengthened after they drafted his son Bronny with the 55th pick in the second round of the NBA draft on Thursday.

Following his son’s selection, James posted a photo on Instagram showing both him and Bronny wearing Lakers uniforms.

James, who turns 40 next season, earned a place on the All-NBA third team after playing 71 games last season — the most since joining the Lakers in 2018.

The Lakers hired JJ Redick this summer to replace former coach Darvin Ham. They drafted All-American Dalton Knecht from Tennessee with the No. 17 pick in the first round of the draft.

D’Angelo Russell and Jaxson Hayes also had player options on their contract and opted in Friday night. Christian Wood already has opted into his deal for next season.

The Lakers are still waiting on Cam Reddish to exercise or decline his option, while Max Christie is a restricted free agent after the Lakers extended him a qualifying offer.

Free agency officially begins Sunday.

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