LeBron James is coming off one of the most offensive seasons of his career. However, the Lakers were terrible last season. They finished 11th, missed the playoffs, and ended the regular season with a disappointing record of 33-49. The Lakers’ misery did not end there, as they were forced to keep most of their last season’s roster on due to salary cap limitations and lack of trade offers. Hence, LeBron James will have to make do with almost the same roster next season and hope that Anthony Davis does not injure himself yet again.
The Lakers replaced Frank Vogel with Darvin Ham and tried to get Kyrie Irving for Russell Westbrook. They have also recruited a couple of young talents with a limited budget to strengthen their side as much as they could. Amid all the drama, the Lakers front office’s current concern would be the extension negotiations with LeBron James, whose contract will end at the end of 2023. However, the 18-time All-Star has refrained from sharing his plans so far. So, this led to speculations that LeBron might not be happy with the franchise after the last two seasons were unproductive.
But recently, NBA Insider Mark Stein has briefed that LeBron is extremely happy in Los Angeles, despite the Lakers’ back-to-back rocky season. Stein reckoned that James and his family have grown ‘increasingly enchanted’ in Los Angeles since the four-time NBA champ joined the Lakers in 2018. James had a terrific last season as he broke a number of records and averaged 30.3 points per game with 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists. The 37-year-old surpassed Karl Malone to become the second highest scorer in NBA and also came within touching distance to a scoring title in his 19th season.
James Believes In Lakers Despite Recent Struggles
LeBron James and Anthony Davis teamed up in 2019-20, leading the Lakers to a championship in the Disneyworld bubble. However, the Lakers have struggled in the last two seasons. They were knocked out during the first round of playoffs in the 2020-21 season. The franchise did not even reach the postseason in 2021-22 and finished on 11th seed. James’ health in both seasons was a major reason behind the Lakers’ struggle. He missed 26 games last season due to an ankle injury while also being absent from a few during the 2020-21 season.
Moreover, Anthony Davis has been injury prone each season he has played for the Lakers. The star forward played only 40 games last season, leaving James to rely on unfittingly inconsistent Russell Westbrook. Thus, while LeBron James is willing to give the Lakers one more season, the franchise would have to reciprocate his faith with a strong next season. Success is the only thing that would make LeBron James think about retiring with the Lakers.