Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After his Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs earlier this week, getting swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, LeBron James had some pretty shocking comments about his future in the league, revealing during his postgame press conference that he’s at least going to consider retirement. But there’s one big reason why he could be back, after all: money.

If LeBron James chooses to retire from the Los Angeles Lakers this season, he would forfeit nearly $100 million in guaranteed money after recently signing a two-year contract extension with the team. That massive deal is set to kick in next year.

“LeBron James signed a 2 year / $97,133,373 contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, including $97,133,373 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $48,566,687. In 2023-24, James will earn a base salary of $46,900,000, while carrying a cap hit of $46,900,000 and a dead cap value of $46,900,000,” Sportrac wrote regarding James’ contract.

There’s a chance that James’ decision comes down to basketball and family reasons, but this is obviously a massive amount of money at play and it could obviously sway his decision one way or the other.

It will certainly be interesting to see what James chooses to do regarding his NBA future.