Still LA: Chris LaCruz Signs Extension with the Fireballs
- By Jron Magcale, Day 89, 2023
LOS ANGELES - The Fireballs received more good news as their franchise player PG Chris LaCruz inks his extension that is worth $72M + incentives & bonuses for 3 more years. Chris LaCruz officially signed on Day 85 before they flew to Phoenix to face Vultures. It was 1st reported that LaCruz has been leaning heavily on signing but just wanted to take his time before he committed. His great relationship with his teammates, coaches and management was said to be one of the factors of his signing. Chris LaCruz who has been having a career year as of this writing is leading the league in scoring with 32 ppg and #8 in assists with 9.1 apg, he is also leads the league in PER (25.7), #2 in EWA (13.4), #1 in OWS (5.6), #2 in WS (7.1) and is the front runner for the MVP award this early despite the Fireballs being below .500 this season. The 26-year old point god has been phenomenal this season with crazy big games like the 60-point triple-double vs Seattle (62 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists) and his 59-point performance vs the Knights. He has been the teams lifeline all season who went on sort of an overhaul this offseason and also traded iMac early this season to solve their cap issues.
Sources said that GM Jron sat down with Chris LaCruz after the Mustangs game to further discuss the extension and all reports said that they both left the meeting with big smiles in their faces. This signing means that Chris LaCruz is committed to help LA retool and be successful for the next 3 seasons before he will be again eligible to sign a max contract of $140M/5 years ($28M/year). GM Jron discussed that he is committed to build a contender from this year moving forward. The concern coming in with the extension is whether Chris LaCruz would want to play for a contender rather to wait it out in LA, but with LaCruz personality of being a leader, he would want to do it in his terms and with his team that is why he re-signed with the Fireballs.
"I am committed to build with LA, this has been my home for the past five years and my family loves it here. I appreciate that the team has been very supportive of my decisions and I thank them for the trust in me. This season is kind of difficult as we are transitioning to be a new team but we all have the same visions and same goals and that is enough for me. For now, we'll take it 1 game at a time and with this situation being taken care of, we'll be more focused get some wins together, get to the playoffs and work." PG Chris LaCruz said on an interview about his contract extension.
Right now, with LaCruz already locked in for the next 3 seasons, it's up to GM Jron to surround him with talent that will eventually help the team out. Next season they will have some space to work with salary cap-wise but it will be interesting if the team will keep the same team together or come after some new names, with no 1st round draft picks available till 2027, it will be super interesting on how the team will build from the assets that they have. It was a deadend last season with their big contracts and their awful salary situation but with some moves, they were able to navigate to a manageable salary cap and a team that can compete for a playoff spot. We'll see how the LA Fireballs will progress from here on out. One thing is for sure The Juice ain't going nowhere (at least for the next 3 years).