LeBron James Reportedly Willing to Make Financial Sacrifice for Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers receive excellent news from LeBron James.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James finally made his decision with regard to his free agency. As expected, the 39-year-old superstar opted out of his player option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent. It may sound counter-intuitive but this is excellent news for the Los Angeles Lakers.

James is widely expected to return to the Lakers on a long-term contract. According to the latest report by Chris Haynes of The Bleacher Report, he may even make a massive sacrifice so that Los Angeles can build a better roster around him and Anthony Davis. James is reportedly considering taking a pay cut so that the Lakers can obtain the full mid-level exception in free agency.

Lakers News: LeBron James Considering Making Financial Sacrifice

This would require LeBron James to take less than his maximum-available deal. He is eligible for a three-year, $162 million contract this summer and the Lakers are obviously willing to give him that. However, if James takes a minor discount, the Lakers could potentially use the mid-level exception to target free agents.

This would likely mean that the Lakers have to trade D'Angelo Russell to open up the necessary cap space.

The use of the phrase "right targets" is fascinating by Chris Haynes. Who does James consider to be the right targets in free agency?

The full MLE is around $13 million for next season. Can the Lakers get enough of a difference-maker with that amount? Some free agents who are projected to receive contracts around that amount include names like Caleb Martin, Tyus Jones, and Derrick Jones Jr. Would LeBron really sacrifice his own earnings so that the Lakers can sign one of these players?

Whether James ends up signing for less money this offseason remains to be seen but it might be the only chance the Lakers have to build a championship-caliber roster in the loaded Western Conference next season.

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