LeBron James


LeBron James


Getty

LeBron James’ future with the Los Angeles Lakers remains a mystery.

The Los Angeles Lakers are in wait and see mode as LeBron James considers his future. The superstar still has one season remaining on a two-year, $99 million contract but can opt out this offseason to become a free agent.

Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz put together a list of “dream trade targets” for every team. The analyst mentioned James as an ideal target for the Golden State Warriors.

James would have to opt in to his current deal in order for a trade to be possible. The trade pitch has the Lakers landing Jonathan Kuminga, former No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, Gary Payton II and Kevin Looney (or Chris Paul’s expiring deal). Golden State secures King James in exchange for this trade package.

“The Golden State Warriors obviously have interest in trading for LeBron James, as the franchise called the Los Angeles Lakers about a potential deal before the 2024 deadline,” Swartz detailed in a June 3, 2024 story titled, “Dream Trade Targets for Every NBA Team.” “The Lakers ultimately refused, but owner Jeanie Buss did reach out to James’ agent Rich Paul to gauge his interest, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

“After a disappointing first-round exit, would James be more open to joining Stephen Curry and Draymond Green in Golden State? James would need to pick up his $51.4 million player option to execute a trade,” Swartz added.

“… Seeing James in a Warriors uniform may feel wrong, but combining him and Curry before both of their historic careers end would make for beautiful basketball.”


Warriors Rumors: Golden State Pushed for a Blockbuster Trade With the Lakers for LeBron James

Earlier this season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne broke the internet by revealing that the Warriors inquired about a potential blockbuster trade for James. Ultimately, the Lakers and James turned down Golden State’s overtures.

“Over a clandestine 24-hour window prior to the trade deadline Thursday that included owner-to-owner conversations, the Golden State Warriors made an unsuccessful bid to convince the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James to consider a trade to pair him with longtime rival Stephen Curry, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski and Shelburne wrote in a February 14 article titled, “Sources: Warriors made bid for LeBron James at trade deadline.”

“The Warriors were eager to present a package deal to L.A., but neither the Lakers nor James were willing to explore a potential blockbuster.”


Lakers Rumors: LA Will Give LeBron James a Deal of His Choosing

The chances of this trade happening are minimal as James could simply opt out of his deal and push for a sign-and-trade with the Warriors. James has been complimentary of Steph Curry in recent years, but it remains to be seen whether the NBA legend is willing to leave Los Angeles.

During an interview with TNT’s “Altcast” during the Western Conference Finals, James’ agent Rich Paul hinted that the star would become a free agent. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported that Los Angeles is prepared to give James “whatever type of contract he wants.”

“As The Athletic previously reported, the Lakers are prepared to offer James whatever type of contract he wants this season,” Buha explained in a May 30 story titled, “Lakers’ offseason centers on one question: Trade for star or upgrade supporting cast?” “League sources told The Athletic that the opt-in and opt-out routes are both on the table, and the leading scorer in NBA history is expected to play up to two more seasons.”

Regardless, James holds the cards to his future and likely has enough pull to push for a sign-and-trade to a team of his choosing, even if the franchise lacks cap space.

Jonathan Adams is a veteran sports contributor covering the NFL, NBA and golf for Heavy.com. His work has been prominently featured on NFL.com, Yahoo Sports, Pro Football Talk, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated. More about Jonathan Adams



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