Lakers hoping LeBron James decides to continue career

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The Lakers front office is keeping their fingers crossed and hoping for the best as the future of their most talismanic player remains uncertain. LeBron James is yet to indicate if he will carry on his career with the Lakers, or if he would rather move his talents somewhere else. With the off-season fast approaching, it remains a big question mark whether the Lakers can adequately persuade the 36-year-old to remain in L.A.

James signed up with the Lakers back in 2018, and after two years suffering through some of the worst seasons in the franchise’s history, he finally led them to a championship title last year. While the Lakers hardly fared well in the 2020-2021 season, the long-lasting effects of the injuries James and Davis endured indicate what the team is capable of with the two All-Stars in complete health.

Of course, it all depends on James’ decision in the offseason. The three-time NBA champion and Olympic gold medalist still packs a punch on the courts, but the miles are showing. He will turn 37 in December, and the Lakers foreseeably need to continue to progress with a long-term plan. But if James does decide to sweep aside retirement and continue his basketball venture with L.A., it will be to the Lakers’ incurable benefit.

One substantial factor is his current contract, and the subsequent stake he has in the team. James signed a two-year, $85 million contract extension in December 2020, keeping him with the Lakers through the 2022-23 season. Recognizing that these seasons may be the last of his career, James’ legacy is closely tied to his performance in the next two years with the Lakers. Regardless of how many rings he’s earned before, winning a championship with the most glamorous basketball franchise in history will only further improve LeBron’s stock.

LeBron’s decision will not only affect the LA Lakers’ future but also toss the league’s power rankings somewhat off-balance. James is one of the few players who can transform a franchise’s fortunes overnight, and the outcome of his decision will ripple throughout the league. If James were to leave, the Lakers would be majorly impacted, but this could potentially present an opportunity to revamp the team for the future.

However, the likelihood of him leaving seems improbable. James has created a comfortable life for himself and his family in L.A. The Lakers have the thrill of Hollywood, sunshine all year round, and rapidly becoming a dynasty once again. They also have a future championship core in place with James as the leading figure, Anthony Davis in the prime of his career, and relatively young role players including Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, and Talen Horton-Tucker.

It is reasonable to hypothesize that a healthy Lakers roster in the 2021-22 season will be one of the best, if not the best in the league. When Anthony Davis and LeBron held up the championship trophy after last year’s Finals, they promised to do it again. With both of them healthy, there is no reason why the Lakers cannot fulfill that vow in 2022. If James chooses to stay with the Lakers, he could enter the 2022-23 campaign playing with a stacked squad looking to three-peat.

In conclusion, the Lakers’ front office can only hope that King James lives up to his name and chooses to continue his career with the Lakers. They can offer him an array of enticements ranging from a dynamic roster, a bright future, a substantial contract, a comfortable life in L.A., and an opportunity to add to his legacy. If he decides to re-engage with the Lakers franchise, the league will go into the 2022-23 season with the Los Angeles Lakers as the team to beat. Even though there is no certainty, the Lakers organization has their fingers crossed that we will see a fit and rejuvenated LeBron James compete in purple and gold once again next year.