NBA News: LeBron James Should Take A Pay Cut, Claims Insider

LeBron James
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Ernesto Cova

LeBron James is eligible to sign a two-year extension worth north of $90 million. And while he's earned every single penny of that potential deal — and maybe even more — that could be a huge mistake for him and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers are in a tough spot, salary cap-wise. James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook take the biggest chunk of their payroll, hampering their chances of building a competitive squad.

Lakers Need More Cap Space

LeBron James
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Anthony Davis is the future of the organization. Coach Darvin Ham said it, and LeBron James agreed, which is why NBA insider Zach Lowe believes James should take a pay cut to try and put more talent around Davis:

"If you look at the situation the Lakers are in, we've talked at nausea about that they don’t have enough salary cap space to go out and fill in the roster around him and Anthony Davis," Lowe said. "And the one way they have to do that, is for LeBron to wait till next summer, opt out of his contract, and like James Harden, this summer with Philly, take a little bit less money, and allow them to fill in around him and Anthony Davis on this roster."

His Extension Could Hurt Them

LeBron James
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The Lakers want James to sign an extension right away. However, that could go back to hurt them as their salary cap situation would get even more complicated:

"If he signs a max extension this summer, the Lakers are stuck in the exact same situation they are now and they are going to be in that situation forward because they have no other contracts on the roster to trade," Lowe explained. "They have no other way to create salary to go get other players on their roster."

The Lakers Need To Copy The Sixers

LeBron James
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Instead, Lowe believes LeBron and the Lakers should emulate what Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers did by giving James Harden less money to surround him with more talent:

"If I am LeBron and the Lakers and I am working together for the best path forward, that to me is the only best path forward, is to wait till next summer, opt out, give the Lakers the flexibility at around him, and then fill in a number late on. Just exactly what the Sixers did which allowed them to get PJ Tucker and Danuel House this summer," Lowe concluded.

LeBron Still Has Plenty Left On The Tank

LeBron James
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Truth be told, that seems like the wisest decision for both James and the Lakers. As much as they'd love to lock him up for the future right away, James could give them a verbal commitment to extending his stay in Southern California and just wait another season.

At the end of the day, the Lakers don't have what it takes to win a ring with their current roster, so James may need to take one for the team if he wants that fifth ring.