Los Angeles Lakers: News and rumors before Free Agency in the blog: LeBron James played with a torn tendon

The Los Angeles Lakers are facing an eventful offseason, not only because of the possible end of LeBron James’ career. Here you can find all the news and rumors about the Lakers offseason in the blog.

This article will be continuously updated.

Lakers: News and rumors of May 26th

Lakers: LeBron James played with a torn tendon

In February, LeBron James tore a tendon in his foot – and returned after just 13 games and subsequently played a major role in the Lakers advancing to the Conference Finals. James himself revealed at the end of March that several doctors advised him not to play again this season, which he ignored.

According to Shams Charania (The Athletic) James played in these playoffs, although the foot was not healed. “He’s been playing with a torn tendon in his foot for the past few months and he may need surgery now,” Charania said on The Pat McAfee Show. “I was told that they are now examining him. It is possible that he will need an operation and he will be out for two months after that.”

During the playoffs, James was consistently on the Lakers’ official injury report, citing “pain in right foot” as the reason. That didn’t stop LeBron from playing most of the 48 minutes in Game 4 against the Denver Nuggets, recording 40 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds.

In 16 postseason games, LeBron averaged 24.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists in 38.7 minutes with odds of 49.8 percent from the field and 26.4 percent from the line of three.

Lakers: Rui Hachimura wants at least $60 million

Rui Hachimura has been one of the positive surprises for the Lakers in the playoffs and that could pay off for the Japanese in July. The forward is a restricted free agent and will be kept according to GM Rob Pelinka. In February, the 24-year-old came to the Lakers for a second-round pick and Kendrick Nunn after the Washington Wizards had no more use for the forward or could not agree on an extension with the former top 10 pick.

According to Jake Fisher (Yahoo Sports) the Wizards offered a salary of around $12 million a year and went up slightly thereafter, but the Japanese camp reportedly demanded $60 million for four years. However, due to his strong performances in the playoffs, Hachimura could demand even more, with 15 million annually being the absolute minimum.

And the Lakers could also have competition. According to Fischer, the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers were also close to a deal with Washington in February before the Lakers intervened at the last second. This interest should not have cooled off yet. In the postseason, Hachimura averaged 12.2 points and 3.6 rebounds at odds of 55.7 percent from the field and 48.7 percent from downtown in 24.3 minutes.

Lakers: Will D’Angelo Russell only get a short contract?

While Hachimura increased in value, shares fell in D’Angelo Russell, who particularly disappointed in the Nuggets series and only came off the bench in Game 4. The guard will now become an unrestricted free agent and it’s safe to say that D-Lo will have to take a hefty pay cut. In 2022/23, the playmaker received around 31.4 million dollars.

He himself probably demanded at least $ 100 million for four years from the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to his ideas in the playoffs, this train should have left. According to Jake Fischer (Yahoo Sports) there could be a compromise where Russell gets at least $20 million annually but only accepts a short two-year deal.

Lakers: These players are still under contract

player (age) position 23/24 24/25 25/26
LeBron James (38) Forward 46.9 50.7* UFA
Anthony Davis (30) center 40.6 43.2* UFA
Malik Beasley (26) Guard/Forward 16.5** UFA
Mo Bamba (25) center 10.3*** UFA
Jared Vanderbilt (24) Forward 4.7 UFA
Shaquille Harrison (29) Guard 2.4***
Max Christie (20) Guard 1.7 RFA

* Player option, ** Team option, *** Not guaranteed or only partially guaranteed, UFA = Unrestricted Free Agent, RFA = Restricted Free Agent

Lakers: These players become free agents

player (age) position Salary 22/23 annotation
Malik Beasley (26) Guard/Forward 15.5 Team option (16.5)
Troy Brown Jr (23) Forward 2.0 Unrestricted
Rui Hachimura (25) Forward 6.2 restricted
Austin Reaves (24) Guard 1.6 restricted
D’Angelo Russell (27) Guard 31:4 Unrestricted
Dennis Schroeder (29) Guard 2.6 Unrestricted
Tristan Thompson (32) center 0.02 Unrestricted
Lonnie Walker IV (24) Guard 6.5 Unrestricted


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