Report: Lakers Prepared For LeBron James To Become Free Agent, Confident They’ll Re-Sign Him

According to NBA insider Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, the Los Angeles Lakers are prepared for LeBron James to decline his 2024-25 player option and enter free agency. 

NBA, Charles Barkley, LeBron James
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However, the Lakers are confident LeBron will re-sign with them. 

“Sources close to the situation say the Lakers are prepared for James to opt out and also confident they’ll be able to work out a deal that would ensure he’ll retire in purple and gold,” Irwin wrote.

LeBron appeared in 71 games for the Lakers this season. The four-time MVP and four-time Finals MVP averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists while shooting 54.0% from the field, 41.0% from beyond the arc and 75.0% from the free-throw line. 

“He loves it in L.A.,” said one Lakers source. “He loves having his family nearby. He loves the opportunities he’s had off the court. He understands his brand is boosted by playing for this team, especially if they have any success. And I think he wants to do his part to live up to the promises he made the city and Jeanie [Buss] when he signed here. There’s a lot of work to be done, though.”

LeBron joined the Lakers in the summer of 2018 after playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 to 2017-18.

The Lakers missed the playoffs in 2019, won the title in 2020, lost in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, missed the playoffs in 2022, lost in the conference finals in 2023 and lost in the first round of the 2024 playoffs. 

LeBron, who turns 40 in December, is expected to play up to two more NBA seasons. He became the leading scorer of all time last season, passing Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

“This doesn’t mean, however, James won’t apply some pressure by way of that player option,” Irwin wrote. “James knows how far the Lakers roster has to go to give him a chance at another championship and is going to do his part to ensure those improvements are made, sources say.”

LeBron is arguably the best player in NBA history. The King has career averages of 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists with the Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Lakers. 

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