Report: ‘All the signals’ suggest that LeBron James will remain with the Lakers

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The future of LeBron James has been among the hottest topics in the NBA for quite some time now, but according to a new report, “all the signals suggest” that he will remain with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“LeBron James is expected at this point, all the signals suggest that he will stay with the Lakers,” NBA insider Marc Stein said. “We don’t know yet what the contract structure will be.”

Speculation about what James might do ramped up following the Lakers’ first-round playoff elimination. Asked after the series-ending loss if he thought he had played his final game with the Lakers, the superstar declined to address the topic.

“I’m not going to answer that,” James said.

Mere days after the final loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham. James has taken some criticism for comments that may have played a role in Ham’s dismissal, and a recent report cited an NBA executive who said James would prefer to have Tyronn Lue as his head coach.

James has a player option on his contract for the 2024-25 NBA season. After completing his 21st NBA campaign, he has until June 29 to opt into the $51.4 million he is due or choose to become an unrestricted free agent.

Last month, there was some talk that James might opt out and then seek a new contract with a rare no-trade clause. Meanwhile, some February chatter indicated that the 39-year-old could seek a multiyear contract worth more than nine figures.

James is considered one of the greatest players of all time and his quest for a fifth NBA championship remains unfulfilled. After reaching the 2023 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers were again eliminated from the playoffs by the Nuggets this season, this time in five games after suffering a sweep at their hands last season.

Since winning the 2020 NBA title, the Lakers have gotten out of the first round of the playoffs in only one year and have had to emerge from the play-in round in two straight seasons.

Adding to James’ decision-making process, his son Bronny has declared for the 2024 NBA Draft and been invited to the draft combine, though he could remain in college. The elder James has said his goal is to play in the league at the same time as his son, as teammates or even as opponents.

A recent report suggested the Lakers are open to drafting the younger James, though the two ending up on the same team may be less of a priority now than it used to be.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.