The Los Angeles Lakers have been through many ups and downs. The chaos surrounding them last season affected their offseason plans. After failing to even qualify for the postseason, the lakers had to deal with a lot of changes with no real resources to enforce crucial changes. On top of all the troubles the LA front office has, including the Westbrook trade, limited bidding options due to salary caps, and health concerns about their aging stars, they will have to handle another issue that could be the most crucial.
LeBron James has one more season left with the Lakers and will be eligible to sign a two-year, $97 million contract extension on August 4. However, with all the drama in the Lakers camp, James has refrained from revealing details about his future plans. The four-time NBA champ has kept quiet since the end of the disappointing 2021-22 season and has only appeared on the court once during the Las Vegas Summer League. The questions about LeBron\’s extension have been floating around since his exit interview in April. However, James\’ silence about his intentions has just made it tougher for the Lakers.
The LA front office has been desperately working on getting rid of Russell Westbrook, who did not fit alongside James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers have been in talks with Brooklyn Nets about a possible Irving-Westbrook trade. However, the communications have seemed to have died down. Hence, Westbrook might have to settle with the Lakers for the next season. Thus, the only hopes for the Lakers next season would be an improvement in Westbrook\’s form, Anthony\’s Health, head coach Darvin Ham\’s strategy, and LeBron James\’ brilliance.
Will LeBron Stay With The Lakers Beyond 2023?
The salary cap restricts the Lakers, and their low-budget new signings so far are no match to their rivals in the Western Conference. Hence, LeBron James, who is 37-year-old and heading into the final stages of his career, might miss on another shot at the championship next season, given the circumstances.
While the last contract came in a pleasant situation when James won his first championship with the Lakers in 2020, the recent extension could turn out to be quite tricky for LeBron James. There is a low probability of the Lakers getting back to their dominance for the next two seasons. LeBron will have to choose between the pursuit of more championship rings like Michael Jordan or finishing his career with the Lakers like Kobe Bryant.
The off-court factors could also play an important role in James\’ decision. Los Angeles is the perfect place for his media and entertainment investments. And it could remain his home until Bronny breaks into the NBA with the 2024 draft. James has talked openly about playing in the NBA with his son before bidding farewell to basketball. So, if LeBron James signs the extension, he will be with the franchise till 2024-25. He might have to rely on the Lakers to make his dream come true by picking Bronny. Hence, a lot of factors will come into play when James finally makes a decision about his Lakers\’ future.