Insider Links Bold LeBron James Replacement To Lakers

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA News
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA could see a significant amount of superstar talent turnover this summer. Multiple superstar players in Los Angeles, including LeBron James of the Lakers and Clippers’ Paul George, face uncertain futures.

ESPN’s Chris Herring compiled a list of moves he would like to see in the NBA this offseason, including James declining his player option to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency and George signing with the Lakers to replace him.

George could decline his $48.8 player option to reach unrestricted free agent this offseason, potentially creating an exit for him to join a new team. His talks with the Clippers have yet to materialize into a long-term contract despite the team already having one signed by Kawhi Leonard.

After the Clippers’ elimination from the playoffs after their first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks, George wasn’t ready to discuss his future with the organization.

“I’m not even focused on that yet,” George said. “I got a lot to kind of digest myself, so I haven’t even got to that yet. Look forward to kind of going back, just letting everything kind of decompress, talk to my family, be around family support and then address the next step. … Yeah, it’s just not where I’m there. I’m not there yet.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Paul George, LA Clippers Updates

The Lakers would still have Anthony Davis as a defensive anchor in such a scenario. They would pair him with George, a superstar Davis previously considered teaming up with when George was a member of the Indiana Pacers.

George remains an impressive talent on the wing, averaging 22.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals this season, shooting 41.3% from beyond the arc.

Multiple teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic, have potential interest in George’s services and the necessary resources to acquire him. James would surely have the interest of any team he’d desire to play for as well, but the financial requirements to sign him impact the market, depending on what he seeks on his next contract.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Paul George, LA Clippers Updates

James has yet to indicate his plans to depart from the Lakers, but every possibility remains under consideration. As free agency nears, speculation surrounding his future remains one of the top stories to monitor.

Some continue to focus on James’ potential desire to play with his son, Bronny, who elected to stay in the 2024 NBA Draft.

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