Report: Lakers ‘Strongly Prefer’ LeBron James Retire With Them

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA rumors
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

According to NBA insider Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Lakers “strongly prefer” LeBron James retire with them.

LeBron, 39, can become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his 2024-25 player option. The NBA legend wants to play with his son, Bronny, in the league.

Bronny is eligible to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft, so LeBron can decline his player option with the Lakers and sign with the team Bronny gets drafted by.

“Team sources say the Lakers would strongly prefer that James retire in their jersey someday, meaning he holds all the cards until his contract situation gets figured out,” Amick wrote. “The Lakers’ top decision-makers have no illusions about that much.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

Most NBA insiders believe LeBron wants the Lakers’ front office to make a big trade at the trade deadline, which is on February 8. LAL is only 27-25, good for just ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Lakers have been linked to Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, Toronto Raptors guard Bruce Brown and three Brooklyn Nets players: Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith.

LeBron is averaging 24.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists this season while shooting 52.1% from the field, 39.0% from beyond the arc and 72.7% from the free-throw line. He’s still one of the best basketball players in the world despite being the oldest player in the NBA.

LeBron joined the Lakers in the summer of 2018 as an unrestricted free agent following his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The King guided LAL to the 2020 championship over the Miami Heat in six games at the Walt Disney World bubble.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, LeBron is averaging 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.9 assists in a Lakers uniform. When reporters asked him if he knows what he’s going to do with his player option for next season, LeBron said, “No.”

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