Why LeBron James Took Pay Cut To Keep Lakers Below Second Apron

LeBron James is one of the best basketball players ever. He plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Recently, LeBron signed a new contract for two years. This contract is worth a little over $101 million. He could have taken about $3 million more, but he chose not to. This choice is very important for the Lakers.

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LeBron James

What is the Second Apron?

The second apron is a rule in the NBA. It is part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. If a team’s total player salaries go over $188.9 million, they hit the second apron. This is bad for the team. It makes it very hard for the team to make trades or sign new players. It also drops the team’s first-round draft pick to the end of the round. The Lakers wanted to avoid this.

LeBron’s Decision

LeBron said he would take a bigger pay cut if the Lakers could sign a top player like Klay Thompson or DeMar DeRozan. But both players signed with other teams. So, LeBron decided to take as much money as he could without putting the Lakers over the second apron. By doing this, he helped the Lakers a lot.

LeBron James

Benefits of Staying Below the Second Apron

Because LeBron took a little less money, the Lakers now have more options. They can keep their first-round pick for 2032. They can also use the taxpayer mid-level exception. This allows them to sign a new player for a certain amount of money. If the Lakers can trade two minimum salary players, they could sign a new player with this exception. The Lakers are interested in Gary Trent Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Trade Rules

The second apron also makes it hard to trade players. If a team hits the second apron, they can only trade one player at a time. They cannot take in more money than they send out. But because the Lakers are below the second apron, they can combine player salaries in a trade. This means they can trade for a player who makes more money if they trade enough players to match the salary.

LeBron James

Lakers’ Roster

The Lakers’ current roster looks a lot like last season’s team. They did not make it far in the playoffs last year. But LeBron James is still focused. He wants to get better every day. The Lakers have a new head coach, JJ Redick. LeBron hopes the new system will help them win more games. By taking less money, LeBron has given Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ general manager, more flexibility. Now, it is up to Pelinka to make the right moves to improve the team.


LeBron James’ decision to take a pay cut was very smart. It helps the Lakers in many ways. They avoid the second apron, keep their draft pick, and have more options for trades and signings. LeBron’s choice shows he cares about the team and wants to win. Now, the Lakers have a chance to improve and have a better season.

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