LeBron James committed to the Los Angeles Lakers for at least the 23-24 season by signing a two-year extension, but he remains "privately adamant" that the roster needs to be improved, sources told Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
James has lobbied the Lakers to trade for Kyrie Irving, who the Brooklyn Nets may potentially make available depending on what happens with the Kevin Durant situation.
The Lakers are prepared to trade the expiring contract of Russell Westbrook and future pick compensation to improve the roster, but no deals have been reached yet. The Lakers can now work through those scenarios without it being a requirement for James to sign. This will presumably allow the Lakers to negotiate without any extra pressure and with more leverage.
The Lakers could alternative have upwards of $34 million in cap space in 2023 depending on what Talen Horton-Tucker does with his option and how they handle the rest of their roster.