With less than two months remaining before the start of NBA training camp, there are still many teams looking to make roster moves. A couple of expected trades also may not happen before the start of the 2022-23 season. Here’s what’s in the news in the NBA this week.
James In Talks With Lakers To Discuss Extension
LeBron James became eligible to negotiate a contract extension with the Lakers on Thursday and is said to be meeting with GM Rob Pelinka about a new deal. He is in the final year of his contract, which will pay him $44.5 million next season. James will be 38 years old when his contract expires, meaning his next deal can be no longer than two years, which is the terms of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
James is expected to remain in LA next season, but the only question is which option he will choose. He can either ignore an extension and become a free agent at the end of the season, sign a two-year deal and stay with the Lakers until he’s 40, or sign for one year with a player option for the second. Most expect he will take the latter deal to give him the flexibility to go to another team and possibly join his son Bronny when he hopefully joins the league in 2024.
The Lakers are expected to offer James a max extension worth around $97 million for two years. He also expects the Lakers to make some moves this offseason, including a trade involving Russell Westbrook. James has used his contract status in the past to pressure teams like the Cavs and Heat into making certain trades and could use the same tactic during these negotiations.
Durant Trade Status Still Up In The Air
Several weeks after Kevin Durant asked to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets, there doesn’t look like any deal is imminent. Usually, there would be teams lined up to acquire a player of his caliber, but the Nets’ high asking price is keeping teams from pulling the trigger on any deal involving the All-NBA forward. Some experts have said that a trade may not even happen this summer.
If a team is willing to trade for Durant, they will spend a lot in a deal involving multiple players and draft picks. A third team may have to be involved in the scenario, so the Nets are satisfied with the package they receive in return. Kyrie Irving recently said he’s comfortable staying in Brooklyn if the team doesn’t complete a trade for him this offseason. This could result in both players remaining with Brooklyn to start next season, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the two superstars can get along.
Mitchell Likely To Stay In Utah
The Utah Jazz is still shopping the services of All-Star guard Donavan Mitchell after their recent blockbuster trade involving Rudy Gobert that sent him to the Minnesota Timberwolves. With no way of now building a championship team without Gobert, they hope to get several draft picks as part of any deal to trade Mitchell before he becomes a free agent in 2025. Acquiring picks would be the only scenario the team would consider rather than trading him for a player that isn’t as good.
Mitchell has said he is open to being traded to the New York Knicks or Miami Heat. He lives in New York in the offseason and considers it to be his home. The Knicks are also aggressively pursuing a trade for Mitchell and have eight first-round draft picks at their disposal. Nothing has yet materialized, although, with that many picks available, it should make it easier to reach a deal.
Miami only has two first-round picks they can use in a trade and could possibly put together an offer that includes Tyler Herro. However, even if they offered several first-round swaps as part of the deal, they still don’t have the resources the Knicks can offer.