LeBron James’ next destination: Still in LA? Retired? Waiting for Bronny? Back to Cleveland? | NBA News

LeBron James looked tired and jaded as he spoke to the press after his Los Angeles Lakers team suffered a four-game sweep in the Western Conference finals at the hands of the Denver Nuggets.

“We’ll see what happens going forward,” James said in the final answer of the press conference. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve got a lot to think about, to be honest”.

While he figures things out, we have looked at a few possible destinations…

Staying in LA

James still has two years left on his contract and is owed $46.9m next season, alongside a $50.6m player option he could invoke in 2025.

Considering that very few franchises possess that money, and it’s unlikely he would give up nearly $100m, staying in LA sounds like the most feasible option.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

LeBron James says he has a lot to think about after his Lakers side missed out on the NBA Finals, following a 4-0 Western Conference finals defeat to the Denver Nuggets

If the 38-year-old plans to stick around for one more season, he may want to use his influence to force the front office into making some much-needed changes.

Re-signing Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves is a start, but this may also involve weighing in on bringing future stars, such as Kyrie Irving, into the fold.

While this does mean taking on a reduced role, orchestrating the Lakers to one last NBA Finals appearance will be worth it.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Denver Nuggets against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals


Remember when the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2 in the 2015 finals? James defeated and nursing several injuries, looked like he might be finished.

However, the following season, he and his team rallied from 3-1 down against the same team and made history in Ohio.

This is why the gossip around retirement is precisely that. A humbling 4-0 submission in the Western Conference finals seems a very un-James-like way to say goodbye.

He has yet to achieve what he vowed to do after last season’s disappointing campaign: play uninhibited by injuries.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

LeBron James was seen to clearly say he heard something pop when he injured his ankle in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks. He did however continue on with the game shortly after

Indeed, issues with both ankles meant he spent at least a month during the year watching from the side-lines – time he could have spent pushing his team further up the standings.

There might be some more fuel left in the tank for one last hurrah. But if it does not end that way, expect a farewell tour unlike any other. Just take a look at the response to Carmelo Anthony’s retirement announcement.

Retired…and then unretired

Nobody would be surprised if James went away for a year to get his affairs in order – and by that, we mean surgery on both ankles – and returned just as his son Bronny, currently a junior at Sierra Canyon High School, entered the draft conversation.

The pair will only be 1.7 miles apart if James commits to the Lakers, and it’s no secret that he desperately wants the stars to align.

“I want him to get to the NBA,” James said. “I’m not even going to lie. I want to be on the court with him. I think that will be an unbelievable moment.”

The 6-foot-3 Bronny would be eligible for the 2024 NBA Draft.

Two of his former high school team-mates, BJ Boston and Ziaire Williams, are currently NBA rookies with the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, and if he plays his cards right, he could be joining them on the biggest stage of all.

Moving franchises

If none of the above works out, there’s always the option of jumping franchises, and there’s a few that could suit James’ needs.

Returning to Cleveland, who looked promising this season with the addition of Donovan Mitchell fueling the team’s playoff run, appeals the most.

The Cavaliers have a considerable amount of salary cap and could easily make room for a superstar free agent.

That, plus the opportunity to have Ohio’s hometown hero end his career where it started, may be too strong to reject.

Elsewhere, New York calls. The fact that the Knicks have been linked three times with James in the past seems like a sign from the universe.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Shaquille O’Neal showed Gabe Vincent his ’15 Strong’ theme which is what Heat’s coach Pat Riley used as his message to inspire them to win the NBA Finals in 2006 and said he can see similarities in today’s roster

They pushed hard to get him back in 2010 and even brought in James Gandolfini to act out a mock scene from The Sopranos to convince him to join, but there was no prying the stellar forward from Cleveland’s grasp.

This year’s playoff run might have provided a steelier offer, but the Miami Heat may trump them in that department as they remain just one win away from locking horns with the Denver Nuggets for the championship title.

Pat Riley, head of the franchise’s operations, is a friend and could help James unite with Bronny when the time is right.

Putting together an offense headlined by Jimmy Butler and James, the best of the old and the new guard, could be devastating to the hopes and ambitions of everyone else in the league.

The EST Team works very carefully and the latest news reaches you.

You may also like...