Rumored to be leaving Los Angeles, Lakers forward LeBron James has been showing off signs that he may be breaking up with the franchise. Though there is still little hope that he will be staying, if he does not sign the extension contract by summer 2022, then it would be for sure that King James will be leaving.
Two legends, one record: Congrats to @KingJames on passing @kaj33 for most combined regular-season and playoff points in NBA history pic.twitter.com/YvoxJVECkk
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 17, 2022
Signs to LeBron’s departure
Currently, James is still bound to a two-year contract of an $85-million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the four-time NBA champion has been leaving a trail of a breakup with the team right when the contract is due.
The 37-year-old superstar previously told the media that he wanted to play his last year with his son, Bronny James. Like father like son, Bronny is taking his father’s footsteps and going to be eligible to be drafted in 2024. This builds up a news cycle that the four-time NBA MVP is in the realm of possibility to return with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he had built his career for 11 years.
When asked about a potential third return to the Cavaliers, James said “the door’s not closed on that”. Adding to the signs that he might be leaving the Lakers to whichever team is going to draft Bronny later.
He added, “My last year will be played with my son. Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be. I would do whatever it takes to play with my son for one year. It’s not about the money at that point.”
Since winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2020, the Lakers have not been able to perform consistently, with the last one being in a three-losing streak. This could be a probability why it is time to abort ship for the 18-time NBA All-Star.
Analysis: Why Lakers should take LeBron James’ subtle NBA All-Star weekend comments seriously https://t.co/uvvjEgjWaU
— Michael Hall (@AugustEve2012) February 23, 2022
Now, with Anthony Davis also on his way to recovery from a sprained ankle, LeBron is struggling to keep up. Not to mention that teammate Russell Westbrook has not been able to contribute as much to the team as he should.
This relates to the third sign of why James is rumored to be leaving. On a trade deadline that was supposed to give an opportunity for the Lakers to sign off Westbrook back to Houston for John Wall, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka decided to refuse the chance.
The trade for acquiring Wall was what James would hope for, as per reports. Instead, Pelinka wanted Westbrook to stay and that made James and his agent Rich Klutch disappointed.
“According to multiple NBA sources, Klutch is not happy with Pelinka. The sentiment has long percolated, but it reached a boil when Pelinka refused to trade Westbrook and a future first-round pick (likely 2027) for Houston Rockets guard and Klutch client John Wall,” reported Eric Pinus.
So it’s true- Under the covers, James wanted his friend Westbrook traded, but, didn’t want Westbrook to know it?
Well Westbrook, now U know; James doesn’t want you on his team
Lakers: Tension Growing Between LeBron James' Agent and Front Office #NewsBreak https://t.co/hhioKltusR
— marg mart (@MargDalatl) February 23, 2022
Can Lakers make him stay?
The 13-time NBA All-Star MVP is one of the Lakers players who has been consistently making big contributions for the team. Currently averaging 29.1 points per game, it is clear that he has the right to be upset with Frank Vogel and the Lakers.
LeBron probably does not want to leave the Lakers, but if this goes on for a longer time, then he would surely assess all of his other options.d All-Star break.