May 19, 2024

LeBron James is reportedly set to decline his player option with the Los Angeles Lakers and is seeking to include a no-trade clause in a potential new contract. With the possibility of opting out of the final year of his current deal, which would leave $51 million on the table, James is expected to pursue contract negotiations that incorporate a no-trade clause, according to Brian Windhorst.

LeBron James considering retirement after Los Angeles Lakers swept by  Denver Nuggets – 'I've got a lot to think about' | CNN

Windhorst commented, “I think LeBron’s gonna opt out no matter what. And the reason I think he’s gonna opt out no matter what is even if he just signs back for one year, the only functional way for LeBron to get a no-trade clause is to sign a new contract.”

As the oldest player in the NBA, James continues to defy expectations, potentially becoming a 20-point contributor in his 22nd NBA season if he remains with the Lakers. Averaging 25.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 8.2 assists this season, James has been instrumental in the Lakers’ performance, despite the team’s current standing at No. 9 in the competitive Western Conference.

With his son Bronny James recently declaring for the NBA Draft, speculation arises regarding LeBron’s future and potential desire to play alongside his son. Many experts believe that James is likely to retire as a Laker, given his long tenure with the franchise and his level of comfort within the organization.

Insiders suggest that James could sign a three-year max contract extension with the Lakers, providing flexibility for retirement options, including a player option in the third year. However, the Lakers’ ability to retain James may hinge on their ability to acquire Bronny James and fulfill LeBron’s desire to play alongside his son.

The Lakers face a pivotal offseason where they must also address retaining players like D’Angelo Russell while maximizing their roster continuity to make a playoff run. Ultimately, securing James for what could be his final NBA contract will be a priority for the franchise.

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