2 NBA Teams Emerging As LeBron James Landing Spots

LeBron James, Josh Hart, Knicks, Lakers, NBA Rumors
Feb 3, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While there is still a lot of the 2023-24 NBA season to get through, there are already some people who are gearing up for the offseason. This could be a monumental one for some franchises, as LeBron James could be hitting the free agent market.

2024 was always the year analysts thought there was a chance James could leave the Los Angeles Lakers and seek out a new team to play for. He has made it clear that he hopes to play alongside his son, Bronny, who is currently a freshman at USC.

If any franchise wants the chance to sign James in free agency, should he turn down his player option, selecting Bronny in the 2024 NBA Draft would certainly help. As shared by insider Marc Stein on his Substack, there are already teams gearing up to make such a move.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: LeBron James, Bronny James, 2024 NBA Draft, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

“What happens if Bronny James is drafted in June? LeBron’s 19-year-old son, in the midst of his freshman season at USC, has not yet announced whether he plans to enter the 2024 NBA Draft or play another season at the collegiate level. But if Bronny does choose to enter the June draft and if he’s selected somewhere in Round 2, as would almost certainly happen in a worst-case scenario, how does Dad react?

I know of at least two teams on the NBA map that believe LeBron James would consider signing with them at far less than $51.4 million if Bronny James is on the roster. There might be more.

Should the Lakers be ultimately faced with that turn of events, they will be doubly glad that they kept their only available first-round pick that could have been traded in-season. The increased optionality they’ll now have in June will certainly come in handy if they suddenly have a LeBron-sized hole to fill,” Stein wrote.

Los Angeles sat out the trade deadline this year, opting not to make a move and sticking with the current roster. There is some optimism that internal development will occur and their health will improve after the team suffered several injuries.

As a result, they held onto their 2024 first-round pick, which could have been by design. If James does leave, having that pick will provide them with three that could be included in a trade this offseason. That will be important to use to fill the potentially huge hole in their lineup, as Stein noted.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: LeBron James, Bronny James, 2024 NBA Draft, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

There has already been speculation about which two NBA teams James would consider signing with for far less should his son be selected. A lot of that speculation has revolved around the New York Knicks being one of the teams.

While New York is focused on making some noise in the playoffs this season, they fit the profile of the kind of franchise James could look to join. They are a ready-made contender and possess the draft capital to use a pick on Bronny as a luxury selection that other franchises may not have.

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