Lakers preparing to repeat historic mistake with their superstar

The front office may be on the verge of replicating a past mistake that handicapped the organization.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

With the offseason here, the Los Angeles Lakers are busy figuring out what their future will look like. Of course, LeBron James is the biggest question mark as of right now. Whether he returns to the organization will be the biggest development that will effectively set up everything else the front office tries to accomplish this summer.

If James comes back, the Lakers can add a few ancillary pieces and prepare to run it back with their core of LeBron and Anthony Davis while their championship window in theory remains open. If he goes elsewhere, management will have to shift their focus and figure out which direction they want to take.

But by all means, it appears the Lakers will be doing everything in their power to keep LeBron in town this offseason, according to Dave McMenamin. Per the ESPN NBA Reporter, the Lakers want to bring him back by any means possible.

"The Lakers intend to have LeBron James come back on any terms he wants to, whether that be a one-year deal, two-year deal, three-year deal, whatever," said McMenamin in an interview on The Rich Eisen Show. "They would love to continue to have LeBron in the Purple and Gold until he calls it quits, whenever that may be."

Overpaying for LeBron could handicap the Lakers

While being intentional about bringing back your star is a wise move in theory, the method by which the Lakers are doing it is a bit concerning. If they are truly prepared to give LeBron any and everything he wants to have him return, the financial burden could have a serious negative impact on LA long-term.

We know this is a possibility because of history. Back in 2010, Kobe Bryant signed a three-year extension with the Lakers worth $90 million, which kept him with the organization through the 2013-14 season. Then in 2013, he signed another two-year extension worth close to $50 million that kept him under contract through the 2015-16 season, after which he of course retired.

Bryant is obviously one of (if not the) most beloved player in Lakers history, but agreeing to sign Kobe to these two deals back to back essentially put LA into a rebuild, as it hindered their ability to bring in other talented and more expensive players to fill out their roster. Now, the Lakers could be on the verge of repeating history, and not in a good way.

If LeBron asks for something like a two-year, $90 million deal and the Lakers agree to give it to him, it could be very bad news. James is still an excellent player at his age, but he is not winning this team a championship on his own. Realistically, he is not worth that price tag anymore, in the same way Kobe was not at the end of his career. If the Lakers make this mistake, they may regret it for years to come.